What Does “Probate” Mean?

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The term “probate” is associated with estate planning and describes the legal process by which a decedent’s will is processed by a special court. An executor of the estate is named to handle the decedent’s affairs and administer the estate throughout the probate process. Assets that are distributed under a will (or all assets in the absence of a will or other ownership forms) go through this process and are “subject to probate.” Assets, distributions of which do not pass through a will, such as jointly owned property, life insurance (with properly selected beneficiaries), or those owned through a properly established revocable living trust, are not usually subject to probate.

 

What Should You Do About Probate?

Planning for your estate can be confusing, complex, and is often a topic that most people want to avoid. However, sooner or later, we all are going to have an estate, and planning ahead can reduce the stress and anxiety surrounding the death of a loved one.

There are some ways to minimize the portion of your estate subject to probate through the ownership form you choose for certain assets. For example, if you own real estate jointly with the right of survivorship, upon your death the title passes to the survivor directly, avoiding probate. The beneficiary designations of your retirement plan and IRAs can also be used to keep those assets out of the probate process by naming a person (or persons) instead of your estate as beneficiary.

Another way to avoid probate is by owning assets in a “revocable living trust.” As the name implies, these trusts are established when the grantor is still alive and since they are revocable, the grantor retains the power to revoke or amend the trust as he or she wishes. A trust document establishes the trust, names the trustee (usually the grantor), names a successor trustee (someone to take control if the trustee becomes disabled), often a trusted family member, and describes how assets are to be managed and ultimately distributed from the trust.

After the trust is established, assets are transferred into the trust by the grantor and the grantor continues to manage them. The grantor reports the taxable income from those assets on his or her individual tax return. The assets are owned by the trust, but there is no change in the control or tax treatment of the assets. When the grantor dies, the assets in the trust are distributed under the terms of the trust document in a way similar to how a will describes how assets in an estate are distributed, only without going through the probate process.

Avoiding probate is just one of the issues associated with planning for an estate. The services of a qualified estate planning professional are essential, especially if your estate is large or complex.

I hope this article helps please feel free to email,text or call me with any questions.

As  always enjoy!

Laura A Goldberg ABR,GRI,SFR,BPOR, SRES, E-pro,RSPS,MRP

CPRES ( CERTIFIED PROBATE REAL ESTATE SPECIALIST)

Classic Properties Realty

Cell/Text  352-327-2997

Email: Gainesvillerealestate@yahoo.com

Email:BuyerPro@LauraGoldberg.REALTOR

Email:Probate@probatehelplaura.REALTOR

Web/Blog http://www.lifeingainesvilleflorida.com

I am passionate about Real Estate !!

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Estates Obligations to Creditors

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WHAT ARE THE ESTATE’S OBLIGATIONS TO ESTATE CREDITORS?

One of the primary purposes of probate is to ensure that the decedent’s debts are paid in an orderly fashion. The personal representative must use diligent efforts to give actual notice of the probate proceeding to ‘known or reasonably ascertainable’ creditors. This gives the creditors an opportunity to file claims in the decedent’s probate estate, if any. Creditors who receive notice of the probate administration generally have three months to file a claim with the clerk of the circuit court. The personal representative, or any other interested persons, may file an objection to the statement of claim. If an objection is filed, the creditor must file a separate independent lawsuit to pursue the claim. A claimant who files a claim in the probate proceeding must be treated fairly as a person interested in the probate estate until the claim has been paid, or until the claim is determined to be invalid.

The legitimate debts of the decedent, specifically including proper claims, taxes and expenses of the administration of the decedent’s probate estate, must be paid before distributions are made to the decedent’s beneficiaries. The court will require the personal representative to file a report to advise of any claims filed in the probate estate, and will not permit the probate estate to be closed unless those claims have been paid or otherwise disposed of.

 

Laura Goldberg CPRES, ABR,GRI,SFR,BPOR, SRES, E-pro,RSPS,MRP

Certified Probate Real Estate Specialist

352-327-2997

Email:probate@probatehelplaura.REALTOR

www.FloridaProbateLaura.com

Florida License# SL3181668

Serving Alachua, Levy and Marion counties

Classic Properties Realty Services

3921 nw 97th blvd Gainesville Florida 32606

What Exactly Is Probate Property?

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Probate property is property owned by a deceased person. Two things happen when the owner of a house dies:

1. There’s No Heir or Will

Properties of people who die without leaving a will or an heir to their house usually go to a probate court to be sold. In this case, the state is in charge of selling the property. They might try to sell it for the highest price possible but it will still be below market value. This is a great place for flippers to find valuable property at a cheap price.

2. It Is Handed Down To The Heirs Of The Deceased

If this is the case, you might still have a chance at purchasing the property. Sometimes, the heirs might feel that the deceased relative’s property is a burden because they already have their own home. If this is the case, the heirs might want to sell the property as fast as possible to avoid profit through maintenance, taxes, insurance and other costs.

How To Find Probate Property

It’s almost impossible to know whether a house is probate property or not when you look at real estate listings so you have to do a little more research. One place you can find probate properties is by going through obituaries in your local newspaper.

Alternatively, you can visit the deceased person’s area and go through court records to find out if they owned any property. You can also look for an office in your local area that deals with testaments and last will. Wills are public documents and are easily accessible so you can use this advantage to find deceased persons who had properties to their names.

If you have some money to spend, you can buy information from private companies regarding available probate property. if none of these methods works, you can always turn to a real estate broker to help you out. They are quite knowledgeable and have access to plenty of information.

Cons Of Probate Property

It’s true that probate property can be bought cheaply and thee are resources that you can use to find it.

Unfortunately, like every other part of real estate investing, probate comes with certain disadvantages as well.

If you are planning on purchasing the property through a probate court, you might have to wait several months. This is because probate court processes last for several months. If the deceased person did not leave a will, the process could take even longer; years even. So if you are hoping to purchase property fast, probate property might not be for you.

But, if you have the patience and think the property is worth the wait, you can wait it out. But as you wait it out, make sure you have other “irons in the fire”.

The good news is that you can hasten the process by telling the court that you can close the sale quickly. All you have to do is provide proof of funds and offer a cash purchase to get the attention of the personal representative and the probate court. When you make an offer, you oftentimes have to pay 10% deposit.

Find out as much as you can about the property before you decide that you truly want it. One of the things that you should find out is if the house has any debt attached to it. The last thing you want is to wait an entire year only to find out that the house has an existing mortgage which you will have to pay off.

But you can still purchase the property if you think the house will still make a profit. Fortunately, 67% of homes in probate court do not have debt attached to them making them an ideal purchase for a house flipper who has access to private money and can close fast.

Laura Goldberg CPRES

Certified Probate Real Estate Specialist

352-327-2997

Email:probate@probatehelplaura.REALTOR

www.FloridaProbateLaura.com

Florida License# SL3181668

Serving Alachua, Levy and Marion counties

Classic Properties Realty Services

3921 nw 97th blvd Gainesville Florida 32606

 

 

Undertstanding Probate in Florida

Below are some explanations of probate and should not be taken as legal advice.

WHAT IS PROBATE?

Probate is a court-supervised process for identifying and gathering the assets of a deceased person (decedent), paying the decedent’s debts and distributing the decedent’s assets to his or her beneficiaries. In general, the decedent’s assets are used first to pay the cost of the probate proceeding, then are used to pay the decedent’s outstanding debts, and the remainder is distributed to the decedent’s beneficiaries. The Florida Probate Code is found in Chapters 731 through 735 of the Florida Statutes, and the rules governing Florida probate proceedings are found in the Florida Probate Rules, Part I and Part II (Rules 5.010-5.530).

There are two types of probate administration under Florida law: formal administration and summary administration. This pamphlet will primarily discuss formal administration.

There is also a non-court supervised administration proceeding called “Disposition of Personal Property Without Administration.” This type of administration applies only in limited circumstances.

WHY IS PROBATE NECESSARY?

Probate is necessary to pass ownership of the decedent’s probate assets to the decedent’s beneficiaries. If the decedent left a valid will, unless the will is admitted to probate in the court, it will be ineffective to pass ownership of probate assets to the decedent’s beneficiaries. If the decedent had no will, probate is necessary to pass ownership of the decedent’s probate assets to those persons who are to receive them under Florida law.

Probate is also necessary to wind up the decedent’s financial affairs. Administration of the decedent’s estate ensures that the decedent’s creditors are paid if certain procedures are correctly followed.

WHERE ARE PROBATE PAPERS FILED?

The decedent’s will, if any, and certain other documents required to begin the probate proceeding are filed with the clerk of the circuit court, usually for the county in which the decedent lived at the time of death. The custodian of a will must deposit the will with the clerk of the court having venue of the estate of the decedent within 10 days after receiving information that the testator is dead. (S. 732.901, Florida Statutes.) There is no fee to deposit the will with the clerk of court. However, a filing fee must be paid to the clerk upon opening a probate matter. The clerk then assigns a file number and maintains an ongoing record of all papers filed with the clerk for the administration of the decedent’s probate estate.

In the interest of protecting the privacy of the decedent’s beneficiaries, any documents that contain financial information pertaining to the decedent’s probate estate are not available for public inspection.

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Laura Goldberg CPRES

Certified Probate Real Estate Specialist

352-327-2997

Email:probate@probatehelplaura.REALTOR

www.FloridaProbateLaura.com

Florida License# SL3181668

Serving Alachua, Levy and Marion counties

Classic Properties Realty Services

3921 nw 97th blvd Gainesville Florida 32606