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What do I do if a beneficiary dies during the probate process?

The death of a loved one can be difficult for all of us. However, the death of a loved one’s beneficiary during the probate process can be quite unexpected as well. It can complicate matters for you as you try to administer a Miami testator’s estate.

When someone dies, a case goes into probate. The probate process varies by state and can sometimes take months or even years. During that time, the beneficiary of the Florida estate may die in the process.

The beneficiary who died might not have had a will, thus, the rules of intestate succession apply. Their inheritance may be divided up among that beneficiary’s heirs according to state law. In some cases, however, a will may have a survivorship period in which the beneficiary needed to have survived for a certain period beyond the original decedent’s death for their benefits to pass on to their heirs.

If there are other heirs to the original decedent’s estate, then they may be entitled to a greater share of the estate based on how much was originally left to the beneficiary who died during the survivorship period.

When the beneficiary dies before the original decedent or passes away during the survivorship period, then their portion of the estate stays with the estate and is divided amongst the other surviving heirs according to the terms of the decedent’s last will and testament.

It doesn’t matter if you currently find yourself in the process of writing your will and you’re trying to cover all your bases or you’re serving an executor of an estate where a beneficiary has died during the probate administration process. It may be helpful for you to explore the added level of complexity that a beneficiary’s death can add to an already-complex process here in Florida with an attorney.

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