Probate is a court-supervised process for identifying and gathering the assets of a decedent, paying the decedent’s debts, and distributing the decedent’s assets to his/her beneficiaries. Probate is necessary to wind up the decedent’s financial affairs and to pass ownership of the decedent’s probate assets to his/her beneficiaries. Probate assets are those assets the decedent owned in his/her sole name at death, or that were owned by the decedent and one or more co-owners but lacked a provision for automatic succession of ownership at death. If the decedent left a Will, the probate process is necessary to verify or prove that the Will is genuine and valid. If the decedent had no Will, probate is still necessary to ensure the ownership of the decedent’s probate assets pass to those persons who are entitled to receive them under Florida law. There are various types of probate administration allowable under Florida law depending upon the value of the decedent’s probate assets and the location of those assets. Our process for assisting clients with a probate administration includes the following:
The length of time required to complete the probate process for a particular estate depends upon many factors. Some of these factors include: the value of probate and non-probate assets, whether a federal estate tax return is required to be filed, disputes among the beneficiaries of the estate, the amount of creditors claims filed against the estate, the location of estate assets in a foreign jurisdiction, the availability of liquid assets in the estate to pay administration expenses and creditors’ claims, and title issues with estate assets. With our vast experience in probate and tax matters, we are uniquely positioned to counsel and advise clients in all aspects of the probate process.
The need for a guardianship arises when a minor receives money or other property either as the beneficiary of an inheritance or from a legal settlement. Guardianships for adults are required when they have been determined to be incapacitated by the court. As part of our process for guardianships, we:
Guardianships can often become an administrative burden for the client; however, due to our experience and volume of guardianships, we can assist with streamlining this process.