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The Most Common Myths About Florida Probate, and the Truth Behind Them


The probate process is a mysterious one in Florida, with many not understanding the laws and what actually happens in probate court. As such, there are many myths surrounding the probate process and unfortunately, many people believe these untruths. Doing so is very dangerous, as it could mean that your property is not distributed in the manner you wish. To ensure this does not happen to you, read on to learn more about the most common myths about the probate process, and the truth behind them.

Your Heirs can Avoid Probate if You Write a Will

There are many reasons to write a will, but doing so to help your heirs avoid probate is not one of them. The first step in the probate process is submitting the will to ensure the estate is distributed properly. Although a will does not help your heirs avoid probate, it does make the process much easier and quicker.

You Decide Entirely Who You Leave Property to in Your Will

You have a great deal of freedom when determining how to divide your assets among your heirs, but there are laws surrounding this aspect of estate planning. For example, if you have a spouse and leave them less than 30 percent of your estate, they can opt for an ‘elective share,’ which will override your wishes.

Due to Intestate Succession Laws, a Will is Not Important

Many people understand that Florida’s intestate succession laws will determine how your property is divided if you pass away without a will. Although this is true, the manner in which the state divides your estate may not reflect your true wishes. Due to this, creating a will is still extremely important.

The Probate Process Takes Many Years

No one can determine just how long the probate process will take for any one estate. While an estate can take as long as one year to proceed through probate, many estates only require a few months of probate. Rarely does an estate take much longer than one year to go through the entire probate process.

A Trust Can Help Your Heirs Avoid Probate

Any property placed into a trust is not subject to the probate process. So, if you place all of your property into a trust, it is possible that your heirs could avoid the probate process. Unfortunately, it is rare that every piece of property a person owns is placed into a trust, and any property that is not will have to go through probate.

You Do Not Need a Florida Estate Planning Lawyer

Many people think that because you are not required to consult with a Naples estate planning lawyer, they can create their own estate plan. Although this is true, it is not recommended. Even the smallest mistake could render your will or trust unenforceable by the probate courts, which means your wishes will not be fulfilled.

If you want to create an estate plan that conveys your last wishes and will be considered enforceable by the court, call our knowledgeable attorney at Nici Law Firm. We will help you create a thorough estate plan that will protect your wishes and ensure they are carried out. Call us today at (239) 449-6150 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation.

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