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What Exactly is Probate and Why Is It Important to You?

Raise your hand if you know what the word probate means. Few of you probably raised your hands.

Legal-speak is sometimes hard on civilian ears. Technical terms may intimidate or bewilder those outside the profession. But, nonetheless, matters of the law are vitally important.

Sometimes for the sake of precision, legal analysts employ what may appear as complicated words. But the definition of probate is relatively simple. It initiates the legal process of managing the estate of someone who has died. The process of probate helps resolve legal claims against the person and dictates how property and resources are distributed both under a will and when no will is in place.

A lifelong resident of Marion County, Florida, Dennis D. Camp specializes in probate administration and estate planning. He can guide you through the legal process of creating a will and can steer you through the world of probate law.

How Does Probate Work?

The Probate Process

After the death of a person, that person’s estate – property, bank and investment accounts, trusts – are required to go through probate. A judge in a probate court oversees the process and, if a will had been established, the judge determines whether the case should go through the process. Without a will, the judge appoints a representative to distribute the person’s estate according to what’s called the law of Descent and Distribution. This law directs the distribution of the person’s estate based on “hereditary succession” – or next of kin.

Generally, the process of probate involves collecting the person’s assets, paying debts and taxes and administering what’s left to the heirs. State laws, which vary, govern probate procedures.

The National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws and the House of Delegates of the American Bar Association introduced the Uniform Probate Code in 1969 in an effort to simplify the process of probate.

Sixteen states, including Florida, have adopted the code.

Would you like to talk further about the probate and the importance of creating a legally binding will?

Don’t hesitate to give Dennis D. Camp a call. He doesn’t charge for consultations; he will give you an overview of your issue. Office hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. Legal services include: probate, estate planning (last will and testament, living will, medical power of attorney, power of attorney) and real estate.

Contact Us! Send an email to lawoffice@dennisdcamp.com or give us a call at 352-369-0664.