Can I do a Probate in Florida if I Live in Another State?

Everyone loves coming to Florida. Across the nation, it is one of the most popular places to buy a second home or retire to. Its natural beauty, no income tax, and pleasant weather make Florida a very appealing stop. Even people who aren’t from the United States make Florida a part of their lives. People from places like Columbia, Cuba, Panama, and other places move here rapidly. We have a high population of people from cold states like Wisconsin and Minnesota, too… Especially up North. People seem to love it here!

But, even if you’ve made the leap and moved to the Sunshine State, that doesn’t mean your family will. Most will choose to stay home or visit rather than move to a new state. It can lead to a challenging situation following a loved one’s passing – What do your loved ones out of state need to do? First, they will need to speak to a Florida probate attorney. Florida’s probate process might be different than in their home state. Luckily, we are here to help.

What Should I Do if a Loved One Died in Florida?

Before you even start worrying about legal issues, you need to give yourself time to grieve. You’re going to be hurting after your loved one passes away, and handling your feelings is the first step. Give yourself the time you need to grieve and don’t rush into making any decisions while you’re still hurt. Then, once you’ve worked through the grieving process and you’re ready to move forward, you can start.

Funeral or cremation arrangements are next and are vital to get right. Be detailed with your funeral director. Amending the death certificate can be difficult, so accuracy is important.

The Next Steps

After your loved one passes, it is important to begin identifying and securing assets. First, it is vital to contact a probate attorney and notify institutions about the death. This protects your loved one’s assets from identity fraud. Next, keep a detailed list of what assets existed where. Homes will need to update their locks, which is in the best-case scenario. If you and your loved one had drifted apart, you might need to do some digging. Going through mail to locate accounts and hiring a private investigator can help.

Also, be aware of potential debt collectors or crediting establishments. Your loved one may have had outstanding bills. Usually, family members are not responsible for their loved ones’ unpaid bills. Before deciding what to do about outstanding debts, contact us and tell us your situation.

Next, it’s essential to hire a probate attorney in Florida. Chances are your loved one had bank accounts, and you will most likely have to open a probate to secure them. In addition, things like stocks, bonds, and any other financial assets will need probate. You may suspect that you need to hire a probate attorney in the county where your loved one owned assets. This is not true. Dowd Law Firm services clients all over the Florida panhandle. Additionally, Florida usually handles its probate process through electronic means. This helps speed up the process. If you need additional information, contact us at Dowd Law.

In Closing

Probate law is a very specialized field of law. Because you will likely be working with your attorney for a long time, you must trust them. At Dowd Law Firm, we have decades of experience with estate law. We’ll get you through the process, and we won’t miss a detail. Call us for a consultation today, and we’ll talk about how we can help you. In most cases, you never even have to come to Florida, though we’d love to have you!