Probate And Estate Administration: Protecting A Legacy
A well-crafted estate plan can help ease a family’s legal burdens after the loss of a loved one, but certain estate planning devices and unforeseen circumstances can mean a lengthy and complicated probate and estate administration process. Without experienced assistance in these areas, that loved one’s vision for their estate may be warped or misinterpreted.
At the Wellington-based firm of Alexander L. Domb, A Professional Association, our attorney works with families and courts across Florida to streamline the transition of assets from the decedent to his or her beneficiaries. When you put your trust in our firm, rest assured that we will work diligently to protect your loved one’s vision.
Navigating Florida Probate Laws
Florida courts use three primary forms of estate administration:
Formal Administration – The traditional form of estate administration, formal administration begins when an estate is opened by petition. A judge appoints a personal representative to execute the estate. The entirety of the process, from paying off debts to distributing assets, is the duty of the personal representative. Estates worth more than $75,000 in non-exempt assets are required to undergo formal administration.
Summary Administration – Summary administration does not involve a court-appointed personal representative. As with formal administration, the estate must be opened by petition. However, a petition for summary administration must prove the estate’s eligibility. The filing party must include information about the value of the estate, all assets to be administered, debts needing to be addressed and how the remaining assets should be distributed. Once the court approves the petition, the petition serves as the legal road map for administering the estate.
Disposition Without Administration – Designed for small estates with few and simple assets, this method of estate administration is the quickest and least expensive. However, given its simplicity and lack of extensive court oversight, few estates qualify for disposition without administration. Estates involving real property are not eligible and would have to undergo summary or formal administration. In disposition without administration, the party who paid for the decedent’s funeral or final medical bills files a petition to have all assets transferred into their care.
Counsel That Understands Your Situation
Myriad factors can affect the estate administration process, from the size of the estate to the lack of a comprehensive will. The vast complexity of Florida’s probate laws make it easy for newcomers to make costly mistakes.
We know that these are highly sensitive and personal matters, so we strive to provide you with agency in probate matters by keeping you informed and involved through every step of the process.