Wills, Probate

Trusts, Estate Planning

210 South Beach Street, Suite 202
Daytona Beach, FL 32114
(386) 257-3332

Personal Representative

Heidi is a bright star in the universe of Family Planning Attorneys!
Choosing a attorney to trust with your family planning is difficult at the least. We met with various attorneys in hopes the selection process would be easy. Until we met with Heidi we found small things bothered us about each attorney we interviewed.
When we met with Heidi we signed a contract at the end of the meeting. That was unusual for us because, trust me, we like to do due diligence in any decision we make. Heidi not only impressed us with her practical knowledge but her advice and rationale was on the mark.
Now that we have completed our planning I can say we were not disappointed and we feel like we we have someone that will stick with us and our family in case of the unexpected, or just the normal expectations of life and death.
Thank you Heidi for your caring and competence. 

~ Don and Pat T

We had a wonderful experience with Heidi Webb and her staff when updating our will and trust. Heidi made everything easy with forms to help us cover all items essential to our trust document. She went item by item to understand our wants and needs and made the process very understandable and easy. Both she and her staff are very personable and accommodating with schedules and time. We would highly recommend Heidi Webb Law Firm.

~ Donna R

probate process in Florida.

Navigating the Probate Process in Florida

The probate process is a legal procedure that is required after someone passes away to settle their estate. The process varies from state to state, and Florida has its own specific set of rules and procedures. Here’s a closer look at the most important steps of the probate process in Florida, which can guide you through this complex legal journey.

Determining if Probate is Necessary

The first step is to ascertain whether probate is necessary or not. Florida law allows for several types of probate administrations, each applicable under different circumstances: Formal administration (requires an attorney), Summary administration, and Disposition without Administration (under $1,000.00). The type of probate will depend on the value and nature of the assets owned by the deceased at the time of their death.

Filing a Petition for Probate

Once you determine that probate is necessary, the process officially begins by filing a petition in the Florida court. The petition must be filed by an interested party, which could be a potential heir or a nominated personal representative (executor), with the probate court in the county where the deceased person lived at the time of their death.

Appointing a Personal Representative

The court then appoints a personal representative, also known as an executor. If there’s a will, the person named in the will is usually appointed, unless they are unable or unwilling to serve. If there’s no will, or if the named party can’t serve, the court will appoint a suitable representative.

Inventory of the Estate

The personal representative is required to gather and take inventory of the deceased’s assets. These can include bank accounts, real estate, vehicles, personal belongings, investments, and more. All assets must be accurately valued, and this inventory must be reported to the court.

Paying the Estate’s Debts

After inventorying the estate’s assets, the personal representative is also responsible for using these assets to pay off any debts the deceased owed. These can include funeral expenses, credit card debt, or any other outstanding liabilities. If there are insufficient liquid assets to pay the debts, some assets may need to be sold to cover these expenses —it is important to remember some assets are exempt from creditor claims in Florida.

Distribution of Assets

Once all the debts and taxes have been paid, the remaining assets are distributed according to the deceased’s will. If there’s no will (known as dying intestate), Florida’s intestacy laws will dictate how assets are divided among surviving relatives.

Closing the Estate

The final step of the probate process is closing the estate. The personal representative will file a final accounting, showing how assets were managed during the probate process. They must also file a plan for distributing what’s left to the estate’s beneficiaries. Once the court approves this, the personal representative can distribute the remaining assets and close the estate.

The probate process in Florida can be complex, and in certain circumstances the law requires attorney involvement, but whether required or not, it often makes sense to work with an experienced probate attorney who can guide you through the steps. While the process can take anywhere from a few months to over a year, depending on the size and complexity of the estate, understanding these key steps can help you navigate the probate process with greater confidence and ease.

Heidi S. Webb, Attorney at Law, serves clients in Daytona Beach, Ormond Beach, Port Orange, and beyond with matters of Estate Planning and Probate. Contact her today to schedule a free consultation. Visit her page on Facebook or see what her clients are saying to learn more about Heidi. 


Share this…