Probate is the legal process of administering the assets of an estate once the owner passes away. There are many misconceptions regarding probate and estate administration since it is something that many people do not want to think about. After all, most people do not want to think about what happens when they or their loved ones die.

Unfortunately, when these myths perpetuate, it can result in family conflict and litigation. It is important for everyone, including the creator, executor and beneficiaries of the estate plan, to understand as much about probate as possible. These are some common falsehoods about probate.

  1. If there is no will, the government gets everything

A lot of people buy into the lie that the state will snatch up estate assets if someone dies without a will. However, according to Florida laws, here is who is in line to receive assets if there is no will:

  • Spouse
  • Children
  • Descendants
  • Parents
  • Siblings

There are several good reasons to create a will. It lays out wishes, protects assets and makes things clear for heirs. But no one should believe this common myth. The government will only receive assets without a will if there are no surviving relatives.

  1. Probate always takes a long time

There are many horror stories about estates that take years to resolve. But this does not usually happen. Generally, probate wraps up within a year. There are only certain times when probate cases can drag on for years, including when there are family fights, a massive estate or ongoing income.

  1. There is always a reading of the will

Contrary to popular belief, there is no law that exists that requires there to be a private reading of the will. This usually only happens in books, TV shows or movies. Probate cases are always part of the public record, which means individuals can read the will on their own time.