When someone names you his or her personal representative in Florida, it becomes important that you familiarize yourself with the probate process and everything it entails. While not every Florida estate has to go through probate, many do. Knowing what the process involves should help you avoid making any major missteps while serving as someone’s personal representative.
According to the Florida Bar, the probate process involves paying off a decedent’s debts, distributing his or her assets and otherwise handling end-of-life aspects for the person you represent. If the decedent owned certain types of assets at the time of his or her death, those assets must go through the probate process. Some of the assets that must do so are as follows.
Certain types of real estate
If the decedent passed away while the sole owner of a property, or if the decedent owned property with another person as “tenants in common,” that property becomes a probate asset. However, if the decedent was a joint tenant in a particular piece of real estate and the other tenants had rights of survivorship, the property in question does not have to go through the probate process.
Certain banks and investment accounts
If the decedent held any bank or investment accounts in his or her name, only, these assets also have to go through probate.
Certain life insurance policies and retirement accounts
Any life insurance policies or individual retirement accounts made payable to a decedent’s estate also have to go through the process of probate.
While these are some of the assets that typically have to go through probate, this is not an exhaustive list of all assets that may have to do so.