Probate is a legal process through which the assets of a deceased person are inventoried and distributed to pay creditors' claims against the estate. If there are remaining assets, they are distributed to the heirs or beneficiaries. The court determines the validity of the will and oversees the process to ensure that the estate is properly administered.


A will declares how a person desires his/her property to be disposed of after death. It is canceled or altered by the individual at any time, and it has no purpose until the person’s death.

Within 10 days after receiving information of the testator's death, the custodian of a will must deposit the will with the Clerk having venue of the estate, in accordance with Florida Statutes 732.901. Upon deposit the custodian must supply the decedent's date of death or last four digits of the testator's Social Security number.