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Daytona Beach Lawyers > Blog > Probate & Guardianships > What Happens If You Do Not File Probate?

What Happens If You Do Not File Probate?


Probate is a legal process that occurs after someone passes away. Probate is important for many reasons. A person’s property must be collected and distributed to their beneficiaries, and their will must also be proved, or validated, by the court. The recognition of the will is one of the most important aspects of probate to ensure the decedent’s wishes are respected. Below, our Daytona Beach probate lawyer outlines the consequences of not filing probate.

Legal Consequences of Not Probating a Will 

If probate is not properly filed, the will of the decedent cannot become effective, which can result in a substantial risk of improper asset distribution. Wills must be legally recognized during the probate process and without it, property may not be distributed in accordance with the wishes of the deceased. This can result in potential disputes and complications among beneficiaries.

Possible Conflicts Among Heirs 

Without the probate process, disagreements among heirs regarding the distribution of assets becomes much more likely. Probate provides a clear legal framework for this distribution. When probate does not occur, heirs may have to enter litigation to make claims and protect their rights. This can result in prolonged legal battles, which can place significant strain on family relationships.

Continued Responsibility for the Debts of the Deceased 

When probate is not filed, the estate continues to be responsible for the debts of the deceased. A creditor can file a claim against the estate, which can create a situation in which the property within the estate may have to be sold to satisfy certain debts. Probate serves an important role in the management and resolution of a deceased person’s debts and other liabilities. If you file probate, the personal representative can systematically handle claims for debt and limit the legal grounds creditors can use as part of debt collection.

Lack of Control Over Property Distribution 

In Florida, when a person passes away without a will or without a probated will, the state’s intestate succession laws apply. These laws outline a prioritized order of inheritance based on the family relationships of the deceased. This means that when a will is not probated, there is no legal framework controlling the distribution process. This can result in the improper distribution of assets, and additional conflicts between beneficiaries and heirs. Ultimately, the final wishes of the deceased may not be respected, even if they drafted a will during their lifetime but it was never probated.

Our Probate Lawyer in Daytona Beach Can Help You Through the Process 

Some people go to great lengths to help their family members avoid probate, but the process is not inherently bad. In fact, it can be very useful when administering a person’s estate and ensuring certain assets are distributed to specific family members. At Bundza & Rodriguez, our Daytona Beach probate lawyer can help you through the process so it is as easy as possible for you and your family. Call us now at 386-252-5170 or contact us online to request a consultation and to get more information.



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