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How to Determine Which Assets are Subject to Probate in Florida


During a probate administration, one of the most critical tasks is determining which assets will go through probate and which ones are non-probate assets. People can revisit their estate plans while still alive to remove certain assets that would’ve been handled under probate by changing the title or ownership. Because of this, disputes may arise during probate about what assets go where and who is entitled to them.

If you need assistance determining which assets will be subject to Florida probate, it’s best to speak with a Pompano Beach estate and probate litigation attorney. At Mark R. Manceri, P.A., we specialize in disputes related to estates and trusts in Florida. Let us evaluate your specific situation and help you resolve any disputes on what assets will be subject to probate.

Probate Assets in Florida

If you are unfamiliar with the probate process, it goes through the probate Court under the supervision of a judge. The process will declare whether a Will is valid. Then the estate’s personal representative will start to gather an inventory of assets that would be subject to probate, ensure all creditors and taxes are paid, and the remaining assets would be distributed to beneficiaries according to the terms of the Will.

Those people who start estate planning early on often try to remove assets that could be subject to probate, allowing them to transfer to beneficiaries more easily and quickly.

Examples of probate assets include anything that was owned solely by the decedent at the time of their death. This could be a house, a car, a boat, etc. Did the deceased own any collectibles, artwork, jewelry, etc. Any personal property the deceased left behind is also considered probate property. That applies to property that doesn’t have a certificate of ownership, like household furniture, clothing, lawn equipment, etc.

Taking inventory during probate is one of the most tedious aspects of the process. However, it’s also necessary because locating and listing assets is the way to ensure beneficiaries receive the full value of what they are owed.

What are Non-Probate Assets in Florida?

Did the deceased have property held in joint title? If so, it could be a non-probate asset if held as joint tenants as a right to survivorship. The way it’s titled is fundamental in determining whether or not it must pass through probate. If the property is tenancy in common, it will still be a probate asset.

Accounts that have specifically named beneficiaries, like life insurance policies, fall under non-probate assets. If there are financial accounts with pay on death or transfer on death provisions, those assets will pass directly to the intended beneficiary.

Some people have both a Trust and a Will. Any property that is held under the trust would not go through probate in most cases. One exception could be if a Trust is created within the Will, known as a Testamentary Trust.

Contact a Florida Estate Litigation Attorney

If you need assistance determining which assets are subject to probate, contact Mark R. Manceri, P.A. today to schedule an initial consultation.


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