There’s a Will, Is Probate Still Necessary?

The purpose of the probate process is to transfer title to property when a person dies.  Even if the decedent had a will, probate may still be necessary.  The relevant inquiry is whether or not there are assets that need to be transferred to the decedent’s heirs or beneficiaries.  

 It is possible that when a person dies, all assets are transferred by operation of law based on beneficiary designations or through joint accounts with rights of survivorship or similar designations that transfer assets automatically upon death.  However, if an asset is held individually without a beneficiary or pay on death designee, the probate process will be necessary to transfer the title to the asset.   The probate process will also be necessary for assets where the named beneficiary predeceased the decedent.  In this case, the asset will be paid to the estate.

 The benefit of a will is simply for the testator or testatrix to give his/her final wishes for who should be personal representative (executor) and how the assets should be transferred in the probate process.  If a person dies without a valid will, Florida law will determine these issues.  However, for a will to have effect, it must be admitted to probate through the probate administration process.     

 If you have questions about whether or not the probate process will be necessary, do not hesitate to contact the Law Office of Silverman, Mack & Associates to speak to one of our knowledgeable attorneys about your case.   You can reach us toll-free at 800-871-8454.