Below, we will explain what a personal representative does, what types of probate administration exist in Florida, and why it is advisable to hire a Florida probate attorney to assist you.
What Is a Personal Representative and What Are Their Duties?
A personal representative is the person who is responsible for administering the estate of a deceased person, also known as the decedent. The personal representative can be named in the decedent’s will, or appointed by the court if the decedent died without a will or did not name a personal representative.
The personal representative has several duties and responsibilities, such as:
- Locating and securing the decedent’s assets
- Notifying creditors and beneficiaries
- Paying debts, taxes, and expenses
- Filing an inventory and accounting of the estate with the court
- Distributing the remaining assets to the beneficiaries according to the will or the law, if there is no will
The personal representative must act in good faith and in the best interests of the estate and its beneficiaries.
What Types of Probate Administration Exist in Florida?
Probate is the legal process of settling the affairs of a deceased person and transferring their property to their heirs or beneficiaries. In Florida, there are two main types of probate administration: formal administration and summary administration.
Formal administration is the most common and comprehensive type of probate administration. It is required for estates that have more than $75,000 in assets (excluding non-probate assets such as life insurance or retirement accounts), or that have creditors who need to be paid.
Formal administration involves:
- Filing a petition for administration with the court,
- Appointing a personal representative,
- Publishing a notice to creditors,
- Filing an inventory and accounting of the estate,
- Paying debts and taxes, and
- Distributing the assets to the beneficiaries.
Summary administration, on the other hand, is a simplified and expedited type of probate. It is available for estates that have less than $75,000 in assets (excluding non-probate assets), or in cases where the decedent has been dead for more than two years.
Summary administration involves:
- Filing a petition for summary administration with the court,
- Attaching a copy of the will (if any) and a list of assets and liabilities, and
- Obtaining an order from the court to distribute the assets to the beneficiaries.
Why You Should Hire a Florida Probate Attorney
As a personal representative, there are many reasons why hiring a Florida probate attorney can be beneficial, such as:
- You need to comply with all applicable probate laws and procedures
- Probate involves handling many legal documents and meeting several deadlines
- Probating an estate can become dramatically harder if the estate is large or complex, involving multiple assets, debts, taxes, or beneficiaries
- The probate process can be far more difficult to navigate if the estate is subject to federal or state estate taxes
- An experienced attorney will help you handle disputes or challenges from creditors or beneficiaries
Hiring a Florida probate attorney can save you time, money, and stress by ensuring that probate is done correctly and efficiently. A probate attorney can also protect your interests and rights as a personal representative, and help you avoid potential liability or litigation.
How We Can Help You
At Jurado & Associates, P.A., we have extensive experience and expertise in handling all aspects of probate in Florida. Whether you need assistance with formal administration, summary administration, or any other probate matter, we can provide you with professional and personalized legal services.
We can help you:
- File all necessary petitions and documents with the court
- Represent you in any court hearings or proceedings
- Communicate with creditors and beneficiaries on your behalf
- Prepare and file an inventory and accounting of the estate
- Pay all valid debts and taxes of the estate
- Distribute the assets to the beneficiaries
We understand that dealing with probate can be overwhelming and stressful, especially when you are dealing with the loss of a loved one. That is why we are committed to making the process as smooth and hassle-free as possible for you.
We will handle every detail with care and compassion, while keeping you informed and involved every step of the way.
If you are looking for reliable and reputable Florida probate attorneys, look no further than Jurado & Associates, P.A. We are ready to assist you with any probate issue you may have and help you fulfill your duties as a personal representative.