Efficient, Effective Probate Administration Attorney
With its roots in a Latin word meaning “to prove,” probate is the process where a will is submitted to court and proven to be a valid and correct will. Once admitted to probate, the terms of the will may be put into effect, and gifts, bequests and devises made in the will may be executed. Probate administration also involves paying any debts or taxes owed and doing whatever else is necessary to settle and close the estate. Charles T. Weiss, P.A. helps personal representatives and families throughout south Florida through the probate process, administering the estate efficiently and effectively for the benefit of all concerned.
Process for Florida Probate Administration
A formal probate administration is held in the circuit court of the county where the deceased resided. The process begins by filing with the court within ten days of the death. Upon the filing of a petition to appoint a personal representative, the court will appoint a personal representative as named in the will, or otherwise if one was not named in the will. The judge also issues a court order to determine the date and place of death and to order the probate administration. Letters of Administration are issued to the personal representative, documenting that person’s authority to carry out the tasks necessary to probate the estate.
The personal representative then goes about the necessary tasks of marshaling all the assets of the estate, and then conducting an inventory and appraisal. Notice is given to creditors, who have a period of time within which to bring claims against the estate before the estate’s assets may be distributed according to the terms of the will. The personal representative pays the claims against the estate, or if they are disputed, takes the necessary steps to resolve the disputes, including litigation where applicable. Taxes owed by the estate are handled in the same manner.
Once taxes and debts are settled, the personal representative may begin distributing the estate according to the terms of the will. This may require selling property as well as borrowing, encumbering or abandoning property in accordance with the representative’s fiduciary duties. Businesses may need to be wound up and sold, or provisions made to continue the company in accordance with the business succession planning aspect of the estate plan. Disputes regarding the personal representative or other matters may have to be dealt with through probate litigation in the courts.
Comprehensive Assistance in South Florida Probate Administration
Not all estates must go through a formal probate administration. Florida recognizes a summary probate process for some small estates and even a no-probate process for certain very small estates. The size and makeup of the estate and the amount of assets which had been transferred into trusts and other instruments outside of probate determines which process must be used. In the event a person dies without a will, the estate is administered according to Florida laws on intestate succession.
Regardless of the type of probate required and the issues involved, the law office of Charles Weiss is equipped to provide advice and assistance every step of the way to ensure an efficient and proper administration. In Palm Beach, Broward County and all of south Florida, contact Charles T. Weiss, P.A. for skilled and knowledgeable probate administration.