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What are the basics of "probate"?

There are many legal terms that Florida residents have probably heard before, but perhaps they are not too familiar with. "Probate" is likely one of them. When it comes to estate planning and end-of-life needs, probate is an important term to learn. So, what are the basics of probate?

Well, for starters, "probate" refers to the transfer of a person's assets to other entities or individuals upon a person's death, as well as the process of addressing outstanding debts and paying taxes. It is a legal process that is overseen by a court, in most cases.

Many people have more assets than they realize. This can come to light during the estate planning process, when a person is considering all of their assets and determining how those assets will be distributed upon death. The most common way to delineate those wishes is by drafting a will. In the probate process, the will is submitted to the court for review and for the executor of the estate to follow as the assets in the deceased person's estate are marshaled to prepare for distribution.

Problems can arise in the probate process when claims are made that are adverse to the estate, such as claims that the will in question is invalid for some reason, or that the executor of the estate is not doing his job properly. In these types of situations, the relatively basic probate scenario can become much more complicated. For Florida residents who are dealing with probate issues, getting the right information about their legal options is crucial.

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