Estate Administration

Estate Administration

Assisting Families through All Stages of Estate Administration

Losing a loved one is never easy, and this difficult time may be made more complicated by the estate administration process.

Often referred to as probate, estate administration relates to the money, assets and other property that are left behind when a family member passes away. Included in the estate are all of the deceased individual’s assets in addition to the debts for which they are responsible.

Administering the estate refers to managing everything that falls under the umbrella of the estate, including payment of any taxes or debts, and distribution of assets to heirs and beneficiaries.

These heirs and beneficiaries typically are named in the will, but if no will was written, then Florida’s laws will govern how assets are distributed.

Florida law may affect the probate process, including how long and complex it is. However, with estate planning, some families are able to avoid probate altogether or if they are forced to undergo probate, only only deal with a swift and efficient probate case.

If you would like to protect your family from having to endure a protracted probate or estate administration, then it is wise to meet with a qualified Florida estate planning attorney.

Families who are faced with the prospect of probate or have already begun the process are encouraged to contact Easy Estate Probate to get the assistance they need to navigate it.

Various Types of Probate

Not every probate process looks the same. Many factors can affect it, including the estate planning that the deceased undertook and the contents of their estate.

Here is a closer look at some of the different forms that probate takes in the State of Florida:

-Domiciliary vs. Ancillary: When a decedent was a Florida resident and owned assets that are located in Florida, then the probate process is described as domiciliary. Assets in Florida that were owned by an out-of-state decedent undergo ancillary probate.

-Probate Assets vs. Non-Probate Assets: Assets that were solely owned by a Florida resident who is deceased must go through probate. However, any assets that have a joint owner or a named beneficiary do not.

-Summary Administration vs. Formal Administration: Summary administration is an abbreviated probate proceeding that comes into effect when the Florida resident has been deceased for greater than two years or the estate is worth $75,000 or less. Formal administration may be required in all other situations.

Which of these types of estate administration will apply to your loved one’s estate? The best way to obtain the answers and guidance that you need is by seeking the assistance of Easy Estate Probate.

Steps of Estate Administration in Florida

The probate process varies from case to case, but these generally are the steps that are required to complete it:

  • File a petition with the probate court
  • Send a notice to all named heirs
  • Petition to appoint an Executor of the will or an Administrator if the decedent did not have a will
  • Conduct an inventory and appraisal of all estate assets
  • Pay all debts to estate creditors
  • Sell estate assets that are designated for sale
  • Payment of any applicable estate taxes
  • Assets are distributed to heirs

Pitfalls, mistakes and errors may occur during any of these steps. Mistakes only prolong the estate administration process, and they may end up costing money as well.  This is why it makes sense to work with a competent and experienced probate attorney from Easy Estate Probate.

How Advanced Directives Protects You During Your Lifetime

Estate planning does not take place after death. Rather, it is critical that this important step be taken whenever an individual has assets that they want to protect and a family to care for.

A comprehensive estate plan may include plans for medical care if the individual becomes incapacitated on a temporary or long-term basis.

Typically, this is accomplished by a power of attorney, in which someone is appointed to make decisions for you should you become unable to do so.

With a power of attorney in place, there is no need for the court to appoint a conservator or guardian, and this means that it is possible to avoid having to set up a guardianship.

Similarly, a health care proxy empowers a person of your choosing to make critical medical decisions on your behalf if you ever are unable to do so.

Does All of the Deceased's Property Go Through Probate?

This depends on the estate plan that the deceased put together before passing away as well as various facets of Florida state law.

In general, certain non-probate assets are not subject to the probate process. These may include:

  • Property in which there is a joint owner who survives the decedent
  • IRAs and 401(k)s that have named beneficiaries
  • Life insurance policies that have named beneficiaries
  • Any banking accounts that are jointly owned by a surviving owner or are designated as “pay on death” or “in trust” for a beneficiary
  • Any property that has been placed in a revocable living trust

For more details on which estate assets may be subject to probate, consult with a qualified probate attorney.

How Long Does Probate Take, and Is It Expensive?

These are among the most commonly asked questions when clients confer with a Florida estate administration attorney. Numerous factors, like the complexity of the estate, can make a huge difference as far as how long probate takes.

The existence of financial instruments like wills and trusts can make the entire process smoother and more efficient.. However, if there are difficulties with locating heirs or if someone decides to contest the will, then the situation quickly can become complicated.

When no litigation arises, most probates last between eight and 12 months. Fees that are associated with estate administration may include appraisal fees, court costs, surety bonds, attorney’s fees and executor’s fees.

Because probate can be a long and difficult process, more estate planning attorneys are recommending that their clients look into the possibility of forming a revocable trust rather than a will.

Helping Families to Navigate Estate Administration

Whether you have just realized that you are responsible for some facet of estate administration for a loved one or are already deeply involved in the process, contact the legal professionals at Easy Estate Probate.

Because of our experience, we are familiar with all of the mistakes and errors that can occur throughout the probate process. This knowledge enables us to help our clients avoid these problems.

When issues do arise, Easy Estate Probate stays at your side to help you deal with all disputes, disagreements and even litigation that may arise through estate administration.

Don’t go through probate alone. Ask a legal professional to help make this a prompt and efficient process for all involved.

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