Skip to main content

In Florida, does a Will avoid probate?

Posted by attorney Donald Lins

Many people are of the mistaken impression that if they have a Will, their Estate will not need to go through probate. This is not correct. The Will does not avoid probate; the Will merely provides the probate court direction on your wishes as far as how the Estate should be probated. This is accomplished by setting forth matters such as designation of a Personal Representative, beneficiaries, distribution and the appointment of a guardian for minors. The Will can be analogized to a "roadmap" for the probate court to follow. Even though a Will does not avoid probate, it is still crucial to have a Will because if you do not, when the probate Estate is administered, the court or Florida law will make decisions for you. Most people do not want a Florida judge deciding matters like appointment of a Personal Representative or Guardian of their children. They also do not want the Florida Legislature determining who will be their beneficiaries (which is what happens if they die with no Will).

Author of this guide:

Was this guide helpful?