After the passing of a family member, many Florida residents may wait to learn what the contents of an estate plan may have held. Some individuals may receive a shock when they learn that their loved ones did not create an estate plan. Now, the probate administration processes will have to follow intestate laws in order to distribute the decedents' assets.
When intestate laws are followed, the state has control over much of the actions that probate will entail. An estate administrator will still be appointed. If a person had created a will, that individual could have appointed an executor to handle these affairs. Instead, the court will appoint someone they see fit for the position, and this is not always an easy process either.
Rather than following the instructions in a will or other document, the representative will work to distribute the assets in accordance with state law, which typically means to the next of kin. This also means that some recipients may be individuals that the deceased may not have intended to receive property. When there is no clear intentions known, surviving loved ones may end up in legal conflicts over who should receive certain property, which may lead to the probate process carrying on for some time.
Probate administration is a time for the final affairs of a deceased person to be settled. While many Florida residents may hope that this goes smoothly, a lack of estate plan could easily complicate matters. If individuals have been appointed personal representative or hope to take on this role, they may want to discuss the process with knowledgeable attorneys to understand the steps they need to take.