Must a Will be entered into probate?

UPDATED: Nov 25, 2011

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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


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 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.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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