Probate FAQ

Deland Probate Property Lawyers

Many people think probate is a long, difficult and costly experience. However, the probate process does not need to be scary. In fact, it can even be a relatively easy process, depending on the estate.

What is involved in probate? Who will receive your family member's property? Will you inherit his or her debt? Whatever your questions about probate and estate administration, the law office of Glenn L. Nye, Attorney at Law, is ready to answer them. Contact our firm online or call 386-490-1207 to schedule your appointment.

What Is Probate?

During the probate process, a deceased person's assets are identified, inventoried, valued and distributed to heirs and creditors. If there is a will, the property will be distributed according to the will. If no will exists, it will be distributed according to Florida intestate succession laws (usually going to close family members). Generally, the court will name a personal representative to handle the estate administration. At our law office, we provide advice to personal representatives throughout the Florida probate process.

Is Probate Necessary?

In some cases, the full probate process is not necessary to distribute an estate. Small estates that do not include homes or other real property may go through a simpler process, called "disposition without administration."

How Long Will Probate Take?

Generally, a full formal probate proceeding can be opened and closed in six months. However, the length of your process will depend on many factors, such as whether there is a house, the number of debts involved and any disputes that may arise. Your attorney's ability can also impact the length of your probate proceedings. At Glenn L. Nye, Attorney at Law, we are determined to get the job done for you as soon as possible.

Will You Have to Come to Florida if You Live Out-of-State?

Whether or not you will have to come to Florida depends on your individual circumstances. For example, is there a house in Florida that contains personal items that your family wants? If there is, then you will certainly want to come and divide up the property. If not, it is possible to go through probate without ever walking into the courthouse. In fact, we can handle almost everything by mail.

What Happens to Estate Debts?

Creditors have the first bite at the apple, which means that estate assets will go to them first. However, nobody inherits debts or loans. You do not have to pay your family members' creditors out of your own pocket. If you decide to keep a house that has a mortgage, you will have to continue to make regular mortgage payments, but you only risk losing the house if you cannot pay the mortgage — the bank cannot hold you personally liable for any of it.

Who Will Take on Your Family Member's Tax Liability?

Like other debts, tax liability is not transferred from a deceased person to a living relative. If you inherit property that has a tax debt attached to it, the IRS can take that property but they can't come after you to pay the past due taxes.

How Long Do Creditors Have to Request Payment?

In Florida, a creditor of a deceased person has two years to show up and receive payment for any debts owed. The probate process reduces that time dramatically — down to 90 days. If the creditor does not file a claim within those 90 days, the creditor will not get paid and the debts will be removed from the estate.

Do You Need a Lawyer?

Except for very small cases, it is essential to hire a Florida lawyer experienced in probate and estate administration. There are many technical requirements that must be met in order to avoid problems in the future. Probate attorney Glenn Lee Nye has more than 30 years of experience helping clients through probate. To schedule an appointment with him, please contact our firm online or call 386-490-1207.