If a will does not go through probate is it legal

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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If a will does not go through probate is it legal

My Dad did not want his will to go through
probate. What ramifications does this have if
someone is unhappy down the line on how it
was followed?

Asked on April 11, 2019 under Estate Planning, Florida


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

If it is not probated, it is not legal and has no effect. There are many possible ramifications, such as: 1) someone who would have inherited if there had been no will ("intestate succession") could bring a legal action to get what they should have inherited; 2) any transfers of title or ownership would likely not be valid, so anyone inheriting, say, a car or house under the non-probated will would not in fact own it; 3) your father's creditors could seek to recover money and property for years, since there would not have been the cut off of their chance to bring claims that occurs when there is probate.

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