Probate is an often misunderstood process. Many people fear it because of the many misconceptions about it. However, probate is a good thing that ensures when you die that things happen according to your wishes. There are many people involved in the process to ensure everything goes smoothly.
According to The Florida Bar, the people involved in the probate process may vary depending on the estate and whether there is someone representing the deceased. However, there are a list of people who may need to be there for the probate process. This includes the personal representative, which is most often the executor of the estate who is there on behalf of the deceased person. The deceased person’s attorney should accompany the personal representative so as to offer legal guidance as needed.
If anyone is filing a claim against the estate, they also need to be there. This might include a representative from the IRS or another tax agency. It could also mean creditors looking to collect on a debt from the estate.
Presiding over the probate process is a circuit court judge. Also, in the courtroom will be the clerk of court for the county in which the person lived when he or she was still alive.
Do note that if there was no personal representative for the deceased, the court may choose someone. This is usually the spouse or the closest living relative.
Do keep in mind that once a person dies, his or her estate becomes part of the public record for anyone to see. This makes it possible for people you were not expecting to show up at the probate hearing.