The word “probate” is enough to strike fear into the hearts of many Florida residents who are considering their estate planning. However, as we are aware at the Law Office of Cheryl Bucker, P.A., probate does not have to be a bad word. In fact, probate is usually nowhere near being the scary legal process that you may assume it to be.
NerdWallet defines probate simply as the process in which the courts distribute property and assets after death. If you die without a will, the court will act as the executor and distribute your estate according to state law. As you can imagine, this may result in some of your heirs receiving property you did not intend them to receive, or for assets to be distributed not according to your wishes.
Also, probate is likely to take longer if you neglected your estate planning, which can be frustrating for your loved ones. The answer is to write a clear, concise will that your relatives will be unlikely to challenge. You can also decide whether to include trusts in your estate planning. Choosing an executor you trust is another benefit to planning your estate, rather than entrusting the process to a judge who does not know your family dynamics and your own wishes.
As our page on wills, trusts and probate administration explains, estate planning does not have to be a complicated or scary process. A little planning now can save you worry in the future, as well as conflict and heartache for your loved ones after you pass on.