Probate Process can delay transfer of Florida Properties for Months

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When an individual passes, property that is in their name only must pass through probate.

A person can die testate (with a will) or intestate (without a will). Either way, this property must go through probate. With a will property will go to the people or entities that you choose. Without a will the State decides who gets your property. A will still must go through the probate process, which can take months or even years to complete, not to mention legal fees. In many situations you can benefit by using a Living Trust. It can accomplish almost everything that a will can, but can allow for the immediate use or transfer of property upon death or incapacity.

By creating the trust, as a revocable living trust, you still retain full control over the assets during your lifetime. Since the property is not in your name at the time of your death, it is in the name of the trust, the property doesn't need to go through Probate. A successor Trustee (if you were the Trustee during your lifetime), can take over immediately upon death and transfer the property as you determined in your trust. (Generally entities that are working with the successor Trustee will want proof that the original Trustee has passed. Normally a death certificate will suffice.)

A will is still usually necessary even when you have a trust, but only to place any items into a trust that were not included originally. This is referred to as a "pour-over" willl. Although a "pour-over" will must still be probated  it can allow the wishes in your trust to be carried out for any assets that were not included, either intentionally or mistakenly, in the trust.