Going through probate court in Florida can be a complicated and protracted process. The more valuable certain assets are and the more disagreement there is among beneficiaries, heirs and family members regarding the ownership, possession or access to certain assets, the more difficult estate administration becomes.
Real estate holdings are often among the most valuable and therefore the most hotly contested and avidly sought after assets involved in an estate. There are circumstances in which the instructions laid out in the testator’s last will or estate plan regarding the family home contradict the title for the property, which can drastically increase the amount of time it takes to finalize the estates and impact which assets that heirs and beneficiaries actually receive.
If someone else shares a title, they have rights regardless of the last will
It is common for someone to assign their interest in real estate to another person in their last will or estate plan. However, those rights may not be immediately enforceable depending on circumstances.
Among the most common conflicts that can arise between estate planning documents and the title to a home is where someone deceives their home to their children but holds the title with their spouse or partner as joint tenants with rights of survivorship.
If someone is on the deed to the property as a tenant with rights of survivorship, that means that regardless of what the other owner included in their last will, that tenant has the right to stay in the property for as long as they live. Those rights to tenancy could mean that instead of inheriting the house, you simply have the right to secure the property after the other owner or tenant dies.