When a person dies in Florida, is probate always necessary?

Probate is not always required in Florida when a person dies. There are several situations where the deceased's assets can pass without probate.

An experienced Florida probate lawyer will tell you that there are at least four situations where probate is not necessary. These include situations where the deceased person had: 

  • Assets with a Beneficiary or Pay-on-death ("POD") or Transfer-on-death ("TOD") designation. Examples: Life insurance or IRA.
  • Assets titled jointly with spouse. Example: House titled as "Husband and Wife."
  • Assets titled with persons other than spouse, as joint tenants with right of survivorship designation. Example: "John and Mary, as JTWROS."
  • Assets held in a Living Trust (also known as a Revocable Trust).

Understanding these circumstances can help in planning a person's estate and in assessing whether a probate must be opened.

This is the first in a series of blog posts which will discuss when probate is and is not necessary in Florida. You are welcome to look for and join in on the discussion. 

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