We Can Restore Order And Ensure Fairness When An Estate Is Being Settled
Losing someone close to you can be an unbearably emotional experience, not to mention a logistically tough and confusing one. Planning a funeral and clearing out the beloved family home are hard enough without also having to deal with the loved one’s estate. If you have been named as a personal representative or you are in dispute with another family member over the estate, a Florida estate administration lawyer can help you handle the diverse challenges you’re confronting.
At Horacio Sosa, P.A., we offer the service and guidance you need to maintain calm and ensure that things are handled in an appropriate manner. We are lawyers, but we are also people who want you and your family to get through this period of grief together. Our services are supportive, and tempered with compassionate concern for you and your family’s well-being.
Legal Challenges You May Face
You may not even remember agreeing to be a personal representative of your loved one’s estate, but when that person dies, you are suddenly in over your head. If you’ve been nominated to be the personal representative of a parent’s estate, but you’ve never had to tackle this kind of role before, you won’t know how to handle creditors, coordinate with the court or respond to communication requests from other beneficiaries. Or maybe you’re an heir who’s frustrated with the behavior of a personal representative whom you believe may be mishandling the estate’s finances or even illegally paying certain parties first.
Even uncontested trusts and estates – situations in which everyone generally agrees about what should be done – can lead to complex business and tax questions. Contested trusts and estates, meanwhile, can spark fighting among beneficiaries, bruising battles with creditors, and other issues that can drain the estate value and cause pain for loved ones.
If you find yourself in one of these situations, an attorney who handles Florida estate administration can help you make sure your loved one’s wishes are honored and that every detail of the estate is taken care of legally and efficiently. Our team is here to help you.
Probate And Trust Administration
If the decedent has left a will, under Florida law, it must go through the court-supervised process called probate. The probate process involves identifying, gathering and distributing the assets of someone who has recently died as well as paying that person’s debts and distributing assets to beneficiaries. Typically, the personal representative first needs to pay for the costs of probate. Then they need to pay the decedent’s debts. Finally, they can distribute the remainder of the assets to beneficiaries.
However, complexities in this process can abound. For instance, with the proper strategy, you may be able to limit the amount of money that goes from the estate to creditors or that the government takes out in taxes.
Florida law recognizes two types of probate administration:
- Summary administration. If it has been more than two years since the death or the estate is valued at less than $75,000, you may take advantage of this simple process.
- Formal administration. If the estate does not qualify for a summary administration, you will be required to go through this much more complex process.
State law also distinguishes between “heirs” and “beneficiaries.” If a person left a will, the assets will go to the beneficiaries – people named in the will to receive the estate. If the person did not leave a will, Florida law will determine the rightful heirs.
If the deceased’s estate was left in trust, it will go through trust administration, which is a process that closely parallels the probate process. However, trust documents do not need to be admitted in court, and the court does not supervise the disposition of the trust.
Call Horacio Sosa For All Of Your Estate Administration Needs
You may be dealing with a parent’s Florida estate from a thousand miles away or you may be overwhelmed by the tasks that have been left to you as a personal representative. Hiring a South Florida estate planning attorney is the smartest thing you can do. Attorney Horacio Sosa knows Florida inheritance law and can take care of the details for you to ensure that your loved one’s wishes are carried out in the most efficient way possible. Get the answers and guidance you need today. Call 954-361-8966 or send an email inquiry to the firm so that we can get in touch with you right away.