Must a Will be entered into probate?

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Must a Will be entered into probate?

I am the executor of a Will of a deceased friend. Can I dispose of his assets as indicated by his Will without going through the courts?

Asked on November 25, 2011 under Estate Planning, Florida

Answers:

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

If you are the executor of a Will for a deceased friend, you are required by statute to probate the Will by filing a petition in the county and state where the friend last resided before he or she passed. If you dispose of the assets of the estate without going through the probate process and getting an order of distribution from the court, you open yourself up to personal liability by creditors of the deceased person.

Part of the importance of the probate process is for creditors to make a claim to the estate within a certain period of time. If not, any claims of the creditors for monies owed as to the estate would be time barred and not required to be paid from estate assets.


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