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How to Avoid Probate After Death in Florida

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Tampa Probate Lawyer / Blog / Uncategorized / How to Avoid Probate After Death in Florida

How to Avoid Probate After Death in Florida

The probate process can be lengthy and complex, causing delays of up to one to two years before heirs can receive their inheritance. Creditors must be given the necessary time to make claims, which contributes to the duration of probate. However, with careful planning during one’s lifetime, it is possible to avoid probate after death in Florida.

Here are some effective ways to bypass probate in the State of Florida:

  • Utilize a Living Trust: By placing assets, such as a house or bank accounts, into a living trust overseen by a trustee (often the owner themselves), control of these assets can be retained while alive. After death, the appointed successor trustee will carry out the distribution according to the trust’s instructions. A living trust also offers the advantage of privacy, as it does not require public disclosures like probate does.

  • Establish Joint Ownership with Right of Survivorship: Assets, like bank accounts or real estate, can be placed in joint ownership with the right of survivorship. This arrangement ensures that the property automatically transfers to the surviving joint owner, bypassing the Florida probate process.

  • Set Up a Transfer on Death (“TOD”) Account: For assets like bank accounts or investments, setting up a TOD account with a brokerage firm and naming one or more beneficiaries allows the assets to be directly delivered to the beneficiaries upon the owner’s death, avoiding probate altogether.

  • Consider a Ladybird Deed for Real Estate: Creating a “Ladybird Deed” for real estate is another viable option. This deed enables the property’s transfer to beneficiaries upon the owner’s death without the need for probate formalities.

While probate is a common procedure following a person’s death, Florida law provides ways to avoid the probate process altogether if estate planning is done in advance. By employing these strategies, the named beneficiaries can receive their inheritance promptly and avoid the probate process entirely. It is essential to consult with a knowledgeable probate attorney to discuss these options and develop a comprehensive estate plan that suits individual needs and circumstances.

About Messina Law Group, P.A.

Operating as a full-service law firm in Florida, Messina Law Group, P.A. puts our clients first. Our goal is to provide the top-notch legal representation while making the estate planning process as stress free as possible.

For a free consultation, call us at (813) 492-7798. Visit our office at 2550 Permit Place, New Port Richey, Florida, or schedule an appointment at our other convenient locations.

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