Probate and Estate Administration
When it comes to distribution of an estate, the process can become very stressful and complicated. In Florida there are several different types of probate administration. The two most common administrations are summary administration and formal administration and both require hiring an attorney.
As the name implies summary administration proceedings take less time (sometimes as little as a week) and is generally easier than formal administration; however, to qualify the Estate’s value must be less than $75,000.00 and the creditors must be known. Formal administration is the administration process for Estate’s greater than $75,000.00 or when creditors are unknown. The Formal administration process is generally more complicated, expensive and time consuming lasting a minimum of ninety (90) days.
Whether a deceased person has a Will (Testate) or does not have a Will (Intestate) can greatly affect who is appointed personal representative and who the beneficiaries are but even if a Will is present it is not guaranteed to be a simple process.
The personal representative is the person appointed by the Court who is responsible for collecting, protecting and transferring the assets of a deceased person to all interested parties. Interested parties include the State of Florida, creditors and beneficiaries. This can be a very daunting task especially while mourning the loss of a loved one.
I understand the emotional stress you as a personal representative are going through and can help guide you through the probate process from the first step (identifying the assets) to the last step (distributing the assets to the beneficiaries) and every step in between (preparing an inventory, notifying creditors, paying or objecting to creditors, filing necessary lawsuits, dealing with difficult beneficiaries, preparing a proper accounting).