Probate is the process by which one's assets are transferred to others following his or her death, and is overseen by the probate court. The personal representative (executor) is the person charged with carrying out the probate process with the assistance of a probate lawyer.
Basically, the personal representative collects all the decedent's assets, pays the decedent's debts (including tax obligations), and then distributes the balance of the assets according to the terms of the decedent's last will and testament. If the decedent did not have a last will and testament, he or she is said to have died intestate, and the assets are distributed according to state law.
The probate process is tedious and can take a long time to complete. Proper estate planning can minimize or even eliminate the probate process.
Our Santa Rosa Beach, Florida, law firm can help with designing and implementing an efficient estate plan that will minimize or eliminate the probate process. We also can assist the personal representative with the probate process and carrying out your loved one's estate plan. Please contact us in Destin to arrange a free initial consultation with our attorney to discuss how we might be able to help.