– WHAT DOES YOUR FLORIDA ESTATE LAWYER DO
Probate is a court supervised process after one dies that “closes” the estate of the decedent. The Kelley Law Firm administers probate and trust accounts for clients and their heirs, so that the process is as smooth as possible during what can be a very difficult time.
Aspects of Probate
Aspects of probate administration include identification and gathering of assets, identifying creditors and paying or negotiating claims to the estate, filing tax returns, managing the expenses of administration, and distributing assets to beneficiaries
Areas of Litigation
Identification of Assets
Filing Tax Returns
Paying or Negotiating other Claims to the Estate
Managing the Expenses of Administration
Distributing Assets to Beneficiaries
Dedicated to Excellence
When a person dies, ownership of their property and assets must be transferred. Probate is the legal process that supervises this transfer of property and assets and ties up the affairs the decedent has left behind.
There are many ways to prevent probate, such as devising a solid estate plan or making bank accounts payable on death, but avoiding probate is not always possible. The probate process can seem daunting and overwhelming for some, especially as they are coping with the death of a loved one, which is why it’s important to select an attorney proficient in probate law to provide their expertise and make the process easier. Our attorneys at The Kelley Law Firm, P.L. are devoted to mastering the ins and outs of probate to help guide our clients through the process as efficiently and effectively as possible.
Types of Probate Administration
There are two types of probate administrations for residents of Florida: Formal Administration and Summary Administration.
Formal Administration is required when the decedent’s estate assets total more than $75,000. Estate assets are those that either are individually owned by the decedent, such as property, cars, etc., or assets that have not been beneficiary designated. This is the more traditional type of probate administration. In cases where the estate’s assets total less than $75,000 or if the decedent has been dead for more than 2 years, Summary Administration can be utilized. Summary Administration is an abbreviated version of Formal Administration and usually takes less time to wrap up. Our attorneys will evaluate and help you decide which type of administration will work for your situation.
A Trust can be used as a way of avoiding probate. Usually drafted along with a Will as part of an estate plan, or, in the case of Testamentary Trusts, created within a Will, a Trust holds the title to property and assets of the Grantor/Settlor who creates it. These assets are then managed by the Trustee, oftentimes the same person as the Grantor/Settlor. Upon the death of the Trustee, the powers bestowed by the Trust automatically pass to the person designated as Successor Trustee without Court intervention. As assets placed in a Trust are owned by the Trust, they are not subject to probate.
Under Florida law, Trustees are required to perform certain duties during the administration of the Trust, such as accounting to the beneficiaries. If a Trustee breaches their fiduciary duties, they may be held personally liable or may find themselves in a legal dispute. For this reason, many seek out professional assistance in Trust administration. If you are a Trustee and are looking for help managing the Trust, our attorneys can help.