Broward County Probate
Helping Clients With Broward County
What happens when someone dies in Broward County, Florida?
In Florida, whenever anyone dies within the state, then Florida law states that the person’s property immediately becomes property of that person’s “estate,” so that legally there is never any gap in ownership of any property (land, cars, jewelry, boats, etc.). This is automatic and happens instantly. It does not matter if the person is very wealthy or if they didn’t own much stuff: when anyone dies in Florida, a legal estate is created.
That estate is meant to be temporary, to help change title to deeds and other proofs of ownership, among other things. The process of transitioning the property from the estate to the heirs or beneficiaries that survive the person who has just died is called “probate.”In Florida, there are specific courts set up just to deal with probate matters.
Broward County, for example, has three probate judges: Judge Charles M. Green; Judge Marc H. Gold; and Judge Mark Speiser. As part of the probate division of the 17th Judicial Circuit Court of the State of Florida, these three judges hear cases related to all things probate as well as things like guardianship requests and mental health (Baker Act and Marchman Act) cases.
Probate really is an administrative, overseeing procedure done via the courts and it can be simple or complicated. Sometimes, it’s just a matter of filing the death certificate and the Last Will and Testament. Maybe a Notice of Trust will be filed. In other situations, it may be very complicated: for example, a will contest or the probate judge will have to oversee the distribution of the probate estate if the person died without a will (“intestate”) in accordance with the Florida Intestacy Statutes.
Florida Law 732.901 requires that the custodian of a will must deposit that document with the clerk of the court within 10 days after receiving information of the death of the testator. Thereafter, the person(s) named in the will, or any interested person, can petition the Court for appointment as the personal representative of the estate. If there is no will, Florida law sets forth the party(s) who are to receive the assets of the estate and an order of priority determining who can serve as the personal representative. If you are named as the personal representative in a will for a deceased Broward County resident or believe that you have priority to act as a personal representative, please contact Larry Tolchinsky to help guide you through the probate process.
After contacting a funeral home, someone should contact the social security administration to let them know of the person's death in order to cease paying benefits (usually, the funeral home will take care of this for you). Additionally, someone should take possession of of the decedent's credit cards, driver’s license, bills, bank account statements and possibly have the decedent's mailed forwarded. Other suggestions include, gathering tax returns and insurance policies.
Larry has 20+ years of experience handling probate administrations for deceased residents of Broward County and all of South Florida, and has the necessary knowledge and experience to guide personal representatives through the probate process.
For those visitors and clients who would like more information about probate, we have provided additional resources for you to read and review. That information includes a discussion of the Florida probate process, and for those interested in learning more about Broward County Probate, we have prepared a supplemental summary on that topic as well. Additionally, please feel free to read our blog, About Florida Probate. It addresses some of the most frequently asked questions about the Florida probate process.
Want to Know More?
To learn more from Larry and to see all of the probate matters he can help with, read his Probate Lawyer page.
Larry handles Probate matters for estates located in Hallandale, Hollywood, Fort Lauderdale, Miramar, Pembroke Pines, Weston, Davie, Dania Beach and all other cities in Broward County and all throughout Florida.
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Contact Larry Tolchinsky to find out how he can help you. You can contact him by phone at 954-458-8655 or by e-mail through this web site to schedule an appointment and learn more about probate in Broward County. He offers a free initial consultation.
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