5 Things To Know About Your Fort Myers Probate Property

Dealing with probate isn’t fun for anyone. If you have a probate property in Fort Myers, here are a few things you should know!

If you are dealing with the probate process in Fort Myers, the process can feel confusing, overwhelming, and stressful. Many people don’t know what to expect or how things will be handled. While the process varies state to state and based on the value of the estate, there are a few basic things that you can count on. Keep reading to learn more about the things you should know when dealing with a probate property in Fort Myers!

If There Isn’t A Will…

In the absence of a will, the property enters a state known as intestacy. To proceed, an individual must petition the court to appoint them as the estate’s administrator, usually a spouse or child of the deceased. Alternatively, the court itself may act as the estate’s legal representative. Subsequently, a notice of hearing is typically published to inform potential heirs and provide them with an opportunity to step forward. Concurrently, creditors are notified of the death and given the chance to assert any claims against the estate.


In some cases, the property will be tied up in probate court for months at a time. During this time, the executor will need to attend hearings, validate heirs, discover assets, and pay off any valid creditors that have come forward. The courts can move pretty slowly, making the process drag on and on over time. Some executors will claim a fee for their involvement in the process. This fee covers the time spent as well as any other fees incurred during the process. Many executors will waive the fee in order to make the process move more quickly and to keep the peace with other heirs involved.

Handling Claims Against The Estate

Often times when someone passes away, there will be claims of repayment against the estate. Creditors are notified upon the death either directly or via an ad in the local paper. These creditors must then properly file their claims against the estate in a timely manner. Once the court has deemed the claims valid, they must be paid off by the estate before any portion of the inheritance is distributed to the heirs. The claims can be debts that have racked up over time as well as any final arrangements and medical expenses for the deceased.

Identifying Heirs

When a will exists, heirs and beneficiaries are explicitly outlined. However, in its absence, locating and informing all living heirs of the death becomes necessary. The executor is responsible for ensuring that proper notification reaches any potential claimants as living descendants. If the court deems them qualified heirs, they will receive their inheritance after all outstanding debts are settled.

Accounting For All Assets

In some cases, it may be a challenge to account for all the assets a person owned. Things may not be laid out nice and neatly, especially if the death was sudden. The executor of the estate will need to do some detective work to make sure all assets are accounted for. In some cases, there could be investments, bank accounts, and other assets that only the deceased knew about. Family members can sometimes be surprised by what they find.

Dealing with the probate process can be stressful and time-consuming. Knowing what to expect can make the process go much more smoothly.

Contact us to learn more about ways to deal with a probate property in Fort Myers!

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