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What may happen to assets discovered after probate?

It can be a great relief to complete your duties as an estate executor. However, sometimes the end of probate is not the final end of the inheritance process. It is possible to discover property later on, even after the closing of probate.

In the event you find assets that should have been part of probate, there are a number of possible outcomes.

Court action without probate

As the estate executor, you should contact the court that administered your probate case to let them know about the outstanding assets. It is possible that the court will simply allow you to disperse the property without the need for opening up the estate again.

Reopening probate

Depending on how Florida law treats previously undiscovered assets, a judge may necessitate the opening of a new probate case. As executor, you would employ the usual steps required for probate to distribute the property.

Keep in mind that you might have to deal with creditors. If your deceased family member owed money and the initial round of probate did not fully satisfy debt claims, the creditors might try to levy a claim against the newly discovered property.

Using a will to address overlooked assets

The distribution of overlooked property could go easier if your deceased relative had a will. It is possible for a testator to address the question of how to handle property not discovered in time for probate. This could be a decisive factor in whether or not a court allows for asset distribution without the need for probate.

Many factors can complicate probate administration. Making provision for such complications, including the fate of overlooked property, could be of benefit to surviving family members.

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