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The death of a loved one is never easy. While grieving and devastated by the loss of a family member, you may be overwhelmed by the thought of the probate process that lies ahead of you. Unfortunately, many misconceptions regarding probate contribute to anxieties about what to expect. The following blog explores these misconceptions, the reality and why you must connect with an experienced Pasco County, FL probate lawyer to help guide you through these complex matters.

What Is Probate?

Probate is the process by which the courts will validate the will of someone who has passed away. Essentially, the courts will ensure the will is valid and legally binding before overseeing the transfer of assets from the estate to beneficiaries, in accordance with the terms and conditions in the will.

In the event someone does not have a will, the court will step in to administer the assets. They will follow the Florida intestate line of succession, which dictates how the assets of someone without a will are distributed.

What Misconceptions About Probate Are Most Common?

It’s no secret that probate can be a complex process for the person in charge of administering the estate. However, there are many myths surrounding certain aspects.

One of the most common misconceptions about probate is that if you create a will, this process will not occur. It’s important to understand that if you have a will, the person charged with executing your estate must file the will with the probate court. In reality, if you have assets placed in a trust, those assets generally do not have to undergo the probate process, as they will be transferred to your beneficiaries immediately upon your death.

Another misconception about this process regards any remaining debt the deceased has left behind. Many assume that the probate process will eliminate these debts, which is not true. In reality, probate is necessary to help ensure any creditors who are owed funds are paid the money they deserve from the estate. When you file someone’s will with the probate court, you must also issue a notice to all creditors and show this to the courts.

Do I Need a Lawyer for This Process?

If you are appointed to handle the probate process for a loved one, it’s in your best interest to connect with an experienced attorney. Unfortunately, this can be a somewhat confusing and complicated matter, especially because of the misconceptions floating around. As such, having a lawyer to help guide you through the process and ensure all necessary steps have been completed is critical.

When someone passes away, the dedicated and compassionate team at the Law Offices of Matthew J. Jowanna can help. We understand how devastating these times can be, which is why we are committed to helping you. Our firm can help handle the legal complexities of the probate process so you can heal from the loss you’ve suffered. Connect with us today to learn more.