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Florida Probate Blog

Posts Tagged: probate estate

Standing in Probate

Written by on May 12, 2009| Posted in: Estate Litigation

Third District Applies General Agency Principals to Issue of Who is Real Party in Interest A quick glance at any court docket these days will reveal that many foreclosure actions are being prosecuted by someone other than the real party in interest. While it is generally acceptable for an authorized agent to bring a lawsuit on behalf of a principal in a civil action, how and to what extent is this rule recognized in the probate arena? Generally, in actions by or against a probate estate, the personal representative of the estate is a necessary and indispensable party. There is a lot of decisional case law in Florida holding that in cases involving claims made by or against an estate, the estate and its survivors are the real parties in interest, and the personal representative is merely a nominal party.

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What are probate records and where are they kept?

Written by on Oct 22, 2008| Posted in: General

Probate records are those documents found and filed in a probate court. A probate court is responsible for keeping the original Last Will and Testament of a person and keeping original codicils (Will updates) on file for review and inspection. Most probate courts have modernized the probate record-keeping process by automating the retention and review of pleadings, motions, and correspondence filed with the probate court. If you are curious about what documents are filed with the probate court for a deceased person, start by contacting the city/county for the state where the decedent resided (which may be different from where the decedent died) and ask how best to review the probate records. After time, probate records will be “archived” or stored which usually happens when an estate is closed for a sufficient period of time. Probate Records Research Steps 1. Determine where the decedent was living at time of death. […]

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What is a Probate Estate?

Written by on Oct 21, 2008| Posted in: General

A decedent’s probate estate refers to all of the decedent’s assets that require probate, which is the court-supervised marshalling and distribution of a decedent’s sole-named assets.  As a rule of thumb, if an asset is in the decedent’s name alone and is not payable to anyone else (ex., pay on death account, life insurance), then that asset will need a court probate process to distribute to beneficiaries.  The probate estate may be only part of the decedent’s whole estate.  For example, a decedent was worth $5,000,000 at the time of death; $3,000,000 was in a living trust, $1,500,000 was jointly-owned, and a piece of real estate worth $500,000 was in his sole name.  The decedent’s “gross estate” would be $5,000,000, but his “probate estate” would only be $500,000.

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