These commonly held misconceptions can lead to confusion and improper estate planning.
Florida law is complex and confusing, but having a general idea of how probate is usually handled can help you plan accordingly.
A will means probate is unnecessary
While creating a will is an incredibly important part of estate planning, the probate process is usually still required. Submitting the will to probate is one of the first steps your executor will take in the estate administration process. It validates your will to ensure your wishes can be effectively carried.
You can disinherit a spouse in your will
Florida law does not allow you to completely disinherit your spouse in most circumstances. A spouse is usually entitled to at least 30% of your estate. There are exceptions to this rule, such as pre and post-nuptial agreements.
A no-contest clause can prevent challenges
Some people attempt to prevent beneficiaries from challenging the will by including a no-contest clause. This would mean that anyone who challenges the will’s terms and loses is no longer entitled to receive anything. However, Florida law does not recognize this and has declared such stipulations unenforceable.
The probate process takes years to complete
While some complex estates can take a long time to completely resolve, it is not true that the administration of every estate takes a significant amount of time. There is no set timeframe, and some can get wrapped up in just a few months.
Knowledge is a powerful tool in your estate planning process.