Probate Checklist

Florida Probate Checklist

Estate Information Checklist and Information Sheet*

As one might expect, there is a great deal of information necessary in order to begin and complete the Florida probate process. The following is an information check list published by the Florida bar that is useful when wondering where to begin.

The Decedent

  • Full name
  • Domicile (state and country of residence) and address at time of death
  • Date and place of death
  • Social security number
  • Business or occupation; if retired, former business or occupation
  • Business name and address and employer identification number
  • Death certificate
  • Funeral instructions in will or otherwise
  • Marital status of decedent at time of death (married, single, legally separated, widowed, divorced)
  • Date of marriage to surviving spouse
  • Other problems related to funeral
  • Possibly an email address

The Will

  • Whether decedent had a will
  • Location of
  • Will clause or other writing making donation of body or parts of body or providing for cremation
  • Contact information for personal representative named in will
  • Whether personal representative can qualify and, if not, alternate personal representative’s contact information and qualifications
  • Contact information for witnesses to will

The Beneficiaries

  • Surviving spouse (name, age, address, and social security number)
  • Heirs at law or devisees (name, age, relationship, address, and social security numbers)
  • Birth dates of minor beneficiaries and contact information for legal guardians

The Property (and estimated value of each item)

  • Real estate in Florida (description, street address, improvements, insurance, mortgages, leases); designate homestead as such
  • Real estate not in Florida
  • Automobiles (insurance, liens, possession and use; whether specifically devised)
  • Other tangible personal property (antiques, artwork, silver, jewelry, furs, furniture, furnishings, fixtures, other items of substantial value)
  • Cash and accounts in financial institutions
  • Florida Prepaid College Program contracts and Florida College Savings Agreements
  • Safe deposit box (location, contents, and access)
  • Sole proprietorship
  • Partnership interest
  • Stock in close or family corporation
  • Other securities
  • Property passing by right of survivorship
  • Death benefits payable under retirement plans
  • Transfers made within one year of decedent’s death
  • Debts payable to decedent
  • Insurance payable to estate
  • Insurance owned by decedent, on others
  • Cash surrender value of insurance on decedent’s life
  • Trusts Powers of appointment
  • Annuities Pending litigation
  • Causes of action (to consider filing)
  • Veterans’ benefits
  • Social Security benefits
  • Income tax refund

As mentioned above, this list is but a starting place for gathering information. The information needed will vary by individual case, and it is important to consult an attorney so that no part of the administration is overlooked.

*This checklist taken from the fifth edition of the Florida Bar’s publication entitled, Practice Under Florida Bankruptcy Code, section 1.31.

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