Whether someone leaves a will or not in Florida, the estate may need to pass through probate. These are some assets that may skip this process. Some examples may include trusts, life insurance policies and bank accounts with designated beneficiaries. If all a person’s debts and other financial obligations are not properly cleared up, then a probate sale may become necessary to cover the expense.
The Florida Bar defines probate as the process of identifying and obtaining the assets of a deceased person and distributing those assets to the beneficiaries. This is a court-supervised process. The assets first cover the cost of probate itself. Some probate assets include those owned only in the deceased person’s name at the time of death or where there were other owners but no provisions in place for an automatic transfer of assets.
If the assets are all non-liquid, then this is when paying the probate fees may require a sale. Bankrate points out that some assets that may go up for sale include personal possessions and real estate. Another instance when a probate sale may become necessary is if there is no will deciding what specific possessions go to whom. The court may then decide to sell the assets, pay off the debts, settle disputes and divide the remaining amount among the heirs.
Some states do not require going through the probate sale process if the estate is small. While not specifically addressed by Bankrate, if there is only one surviving eligible heir, then a probate sale may sometimes not be necessary for this instance either.