Probate is the legal process wherein that must take place to transfer assets from dead people to living people or entities. It requires Court supervision and is costly and time consuming and public. An estate is composed of all the assets, debts, and claims, pertaining to the deceased. If the deceased had a will, the court will interpret the will to ensure that all debts and claims are resolved and that any remaining assets are distributed as intended by the decedent. If the deceased did not have a will, the estate is distributed according to state probate laws which will determine who the beneficiaries are. The most common and acceptable way the probate process, and costs associated with it, can be avoided is through the establishment of a trust, during the lifetime of the decedent. A will typically names one person to serve as Personal Representative/Executor; this individual serves as the person responsible for the collection of assets, payment of debts, and subsequent disbursements. If the deceased did not have a will, the court will appoint an Administrator to take on this role. Currently, Florida employs two approaches of probate administration: formal administration and summary administration. A third type of administration that does require court-supervision is available on a limited basis.
Probate law is complex and it varies from state to state. Navigating probate law can be a daunting and time consuming process. If you have been named Personal Representative/Executor or Administrator of an estate, or even if your family member did not create a will, our team of experienced attorneys and paralegal staff can assist you in each step of the probate process and work with the court to ensure that all probate assets and debts are resolved, both under the law and according to the decedent’s wishes. Our experience with the Florida Probate Courts and state probate law can also assist in providing the swiftest resolution to the decedent’s estate.
We at Eastham Law Offices are professionals representing personal representatives in a manner to assure that our clients do not experience personal liability regarding the probate.