Cocoa, FL asked in Probate for Florida

Q: if someone passes away suddenly, lives alone, what can the relatives throw out before probate ? food? old clothes

she was a horder

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2 Lawyer Answers
Andy Wayne Williamson
Andy Wayne Williamson
Answered
  • Probate Lawyer
  • Santa Rosa Beach, FL
  • Licensed in Florida

A: Food yes, in theory all assets should be held and distributed to the heirs per a proper probate.

Jennifer Isaksen
Jennifer Isaksen
Answered
  • Probate Lawyer
  • Bushnell, FL
  • Licensed in Florida

A: I am sorry for your loss. You will want to discard food items and trash. The personal items are technically part of the probate estate and would normally be distributed by the terms of the Will or Florida law, by the court or by an appointed Personal Representative. Sometimes a probate isn't necessary because there are no assets that need distribution, such as a vehicle, bank account, real estate, etc. In this case, I would recommend that first you determine who has an interest in what was left behind. This would be anyone named in the Will or if there is no Will, the spouse, children, parents, siblings, etc. You also need to determine who should be responsible for winding up the affairs of the person that passed. That would be the person named in the Will to act as Personal Representative or if there is no Will, it could really be any person with an interest in the Estate. If the relatives and/or heirs are in agreement that the clothing and other contents have no reasonable value (no one wants it), you may decide to donate them or trash them without having to open a probate. If there are assets that are titled in the name of the person that passed, such as a bank account, vehicle, real estate, stock account, etc., you will need to open a probate to transfer those assets that are titled in the name of the person that passed. Hope that helps! Jennifer

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