When a loved one passes away, their estate must be settled. This process is known as probate, and it involves the distribution of assets and the payment of debts. In some cases, the probate process may be completed without any issues. However, if new property is discovered after the estate has been closed, it may be necessary to reopen the probate case.
In this article, we'll discuss the process of reopening a probate case and the requirements that must be met in order for a court to grant a request to reopen. We'll also discuss the reasons why an estate may need to be reopened and the consequences of not doing so. The first step in reopening a probate case is to visit the clerk of the probate court where the case was previously pending. The clerk will provide you with a Form Document to Reopen the Probate Case.
The form will need to be filled out and submitted to the court. The requirements for reopening a closed estate vary from state to state. Generally speaking, you won't be able to reopen an estate unless you can demonstrate that additional assets have been discovered after the estate was closed. This process is known as post-management.
In Florida, Probate Rule 5.460 sets out how you can ask a Florida court to reopen a closed estate after hidden assets are discovered. It's important to note that an estate should not be reopened on the basis of new evidence that would not change the outcome of the inheritance determination. A probate can be reopened if it is proven that the evidence presented at the original hearing was incorrect, incomplete, or inadequate. This could include omitting an heir or recipient, finding a will, or making an error in the distribution of property.
A property can also be reopened if it can be shown that the previous decision constitutes a manifest injustice that can be administratively corrected. If you are requesting to reopen an estate for more than three years after it was closed, you must provide convincing evidence that any delay in your request was not due to a lack of diligence on your part. Once probate administration is completed and an estate is closed, one would expect it to mark the end of the process. However, this may not always be the case.
Depending on the circumstances, there may be reasons to reopen a closed estate. It's important to understand when an estate should be reopened and when it can remain closed. The Board has held that the BIA has a responsibility to request reopening when it has information indicating any likelihood that an estate decision will be incorrect and that it is a manifest injustice for the BIA to have such information and not act on it. A closed probate case may be reopened if the decision or order issued in the probate case contains an error of fact or law (including, but not limited to, a missing or misincluded heir or recipient, a found will, or an error in the distribution of property), and the error is discovered for more than 30 days after the date a decision was sent. To reopen an estate for further administration, the interested party (often the personal representative) must apply to the probate court to reopen the estate. During this process, one of their duties is to locate all heirs mentioned in the will. If an estate has recently discovered assets, probate attorneys can help open and close a subsequent estate. Many assets (such as those held in a trust or income from an insurance policy with a designated beneficiary) will go outside of probate. If you want to reopen an estate for one of these reasons, an estate attorney can help you draft the strongest possible petition to reopen. If a decedent had a last will and testament, their appointed personal representative will initiate probate proceedings.
During these proceedings, hearings are held in order to allow consideration of alleged errors committed by ALJs and allow introduction of evidence that could not have been discovered before original hearing. Sometimes it becomes necessary to reopen an estate after it has been closed and personal representative has been discharged. Unless ordered otherwise by court, new personal representative must comply with other provisions of Probate Code. A party who has received actual notice of probate hearing is not entitled to file motion to reopen.