What is Probate?
Probate, a court-supervised process for identifying and gathering the assets of a deceased person (the decedent), also involves paying the decedent’s debts, and distributing the decedent’s assets to the beneficiaries. The decedent’s assets are typically first used to pay the cost of the probate proceeding, then to pay the decedent’s outstanding debts, and the remainder is distributed to the decedent’s beneficiaries. It is imperative that you have an experienced Probate Administration Attorney for this process so you can ensure that things are done correctly.
An Experienced Probate Administration Lawyer is a Must
Probate is necessary to pass ownership of the decedent’s probate assets to the decedent’s beneficiaries. A valid will is useless unless it is admitted to probate in the court. Only then can a will be effective to pass ownership of probate assets to the decedent’s beneficiaries. If the decedent had no will, probate is necessary to pass ownership of the decedent’s probate assets to those persons who are to receive them under Florida law. It takes an experienced Probate Administration Attorney to make sure the process goes smoothly or is avoided altogether.
Probate is also necessary to wind up the decedent’s financial affairs after his or her death. Administration of the decedent’s estate ensures that the decedent’s creditors are paid if certain procedures are correctly followed.
There are two types of probate administration under Florida law:
- Formal Probate Administration
- Summary Probate Administration
Summary administration can only be used when the total value of decedent’s assets that are subject to probate are $75,000 or less or when the decedent has been deceased for more than two years. Formal administration is used whenever a personal representative is required for other purposes and for all other estates.
Why Call A Fort Lauderdale Probate Attorney?
A probate attorney practices a very specific field of law that is of particular interest to the elderly: he (or she) is responsible for making sure that the client’s personal representative understands the probate process from beginning to end.
Of course, the specifics of that process vary from state to state, but the general rule of thumb is that a probate attorney helps a clients’ personal representative execute the process of enforcing the last will and testament. Some of the many questions that the personal representative will be asked of the probate lawyer include, but are certainly not limited to, the following:
- Did the client leave a last will and testament – or, if the client is still living, does the client intend to write a last will and testament?
- Are you, as the personal representative, able to locate all of the client’s assets, both that are in probate, and not in probate?
- Are you, as the personal representative, able to take care of the various taxes that will be assessed to the client’s estate – such as the inheritance taxes, and the estate taxes?
- How would you, as the personal representative, distribute the remainder of the client’s estate once the taxes have been paid, the expenses have been deducted, and the various real estate is retitled into a beneficiary’s name?
Probate is Complex
There are many more things go into the process of probate and estate planning and this becomes especially complicated if the client has died interstate. For that reason, it is imperative to contact us if you need an experienced Fort Lauderdale Probate Administration Attorney.
Please call our office at 954-832-0885 to discuss how The Law Offices of Odelia Goldberg can help you with your probate issues. Home, virtual consultations, hospital appointments and telephone appointments are available.