The administrator of a Miami estate must notify the heirs and creditors regarding the opening of a probate/estate administration. If the beneficiary cannot be located by the personal represtantive or refuses to accept the inheritance after being notified, the property will be deemed as unclaimed property under Florida law. You have 10 years in which to claim your inheritance otherwise the State may claim it for school funds.
If you think you may be entitled to assets of a deceased Miami relative and you are unsure whether a private has been filed, you should speak with a Miami probate and estate attorney. The attorney can check the probate records to find out other testate of your loved one’s probate matter and contact the personal representative on your behalf. If you received a notice of probate matter from a personal representative, it is important that you contact them right away so that your inheritance does not go unclaimed.
Procedure to Claim Your Inheritance/ Unclaimed Property
If the probate is active, then you or your Miami estate attorney can contact the personal representative. Many probates take about 9 months from the time the probate is established to the time distributions are made to the heirs. Any unclaimed property is sold and all proceeds are delivered to the Miami Dade Probate Court. For property valued at less than $500, the Court will post a notice at the courthouse for 30 days. If the property is worth more than $500, the notice is published in the newspaper for two months.
After the two month period expires, if the heir has not claimed his or her property, the funds are transferred to a separate State of Florida school educational fund. Interest earned on the funds is applied towards the use by schools. The heir may claim the principal up to 10 years from the time the money is placed in the school fund. After that, the funds become state property, and the heir no longer has a claim to the funds.
Challenges and Exemptions
If you believe that you are entitle to inherit the decedent’s assets, and you have been omitted from the will, you can file a will contest. However, you will need to show the court that you have sufficient grounds to challenge the will such as:
Decedent was under undue influence, coercion or duress
Decedent’s signature was forged
Decedent was mentally incompetent at the time of the making of the will
The will was not signed or witnessed properly
A Miami probate and estate attorney can review the will and advise you whether you have sufficient grounds to file a will contest litigation matter with the Miami-Dade probate Court. The estate attorney can prepare the necessary documents and represent you at the hearing. Will challenges must be made within three months from the date you are notified of the opening of the probate proceeding. Otherwise you lose the right to make the challenge. If you are entitled to exempt property, you must make a claim within four months or you lose your rights to do so.
Miami Estate Attorney
If you need assistance with a Miami estate matter, a Miami probate and estate attorney can help you. If you wish to speak to a Miami estate attorney, call the Law Offices of Albert Gurevich at (786) 522-1411.