Often, people believe that a will avoids probate; however, this is typically not the case. Rather, a will is a document which dictates when, how and to whom an individual’s assets are distributed after their death. In most cases, a will must be probated.
Probate is a court process that transfers assets from a deceased party to their heirs and beneficiaries by a will. If the deceased party dies with a valid will, then the will dictates the individuals to inherit from the deceased party’s assets after their death. However, if the deceased party dies without a valid will, then the distribution of their assets is governed by the state’s intestacy statutes (typically passing to the deceased party’s next-of-kin) through an intestacy proceeding. A personal representative (or executor) is the individual nominated in a will to probate the will and transfer the deceased party’s assets from their estate to their designated heirs.
At Davis Law Firm, P.A., we have extensive experience with both probate and intestate proceedings. We assist personal representatives in determining whether a will must be probated, liquidating estate assets, handling estate creditors, filing estate tax returns and distributing the estate assets to the designated heirs. We also represent beneficiaries in will contests or to ensure that their interests are protected throughout the probate process and that they receive their full inheritance.