Probate Proceeding

Steps for the Personal Representative

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It can be overwhelming when a loved one passes away. The following steps are written as a guide for the next of kin or personal representative of the decedent. Although they are ordered, many of these tasks can be undertaken at the same time. For example, the first steps in administrative tasks can be taken the same day as the first steps in funeral arrangements.

Immediate tasks

  1. Lock the decedent’s real estate premises to keep contents secure.
  2. Prepare a team to help you ...
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A Will or Trust? It’s Not About the Size of Your Estate

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When I use the word “trust” in a consultation, people often quickly tell me that they don’t have enough money or assets to require a trust. This is a common misconception, that a trust requires a vast estate. Perhaps we owe that to the word “trust” conjuring up visions of large philanthropic organizations that operate exclusively out of a trust, or “trust fund babies.”

In fact, a trust can often cost much less in administrative fees, on the back end, to ...

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Stranger Things from Beyond the Courthouse

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Recent surveys from Caring.com show that only 42% of U.S. adults have estate planning documents. The following cases could have been easily avoided with those documents in place.

(All names in the following case examples have been changed.)

Elizabeth Always Had a Plan

Elizabeth’s son, Steve, came to us in when his mother was becoming forgetful. She had dementia. ...

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Yes, Virginia, Your Uncle’s Will Must Be Probated

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During the month of January we began seeing a flurry of clients walk through the door with probate issues.  Based on what we’re seeing, most Americans – irrespective of educational background or socioeconomic circumstances – seem to be under the misimpression that having a will means the beneficiaries will receive their inheritance posthaste and without having to pay legal expenses associated with probate. Wrong. Probate is the legal process where a will is determined to be valid or invalid, ...

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Inheriting Land Located in Multiple States Thrusts Florida Heirs into Costly Probate Proceedings

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For many families, owning land is a rewarding way to build wealth while creating a tangible legacy for future generations.  But along with claiming a slice of the American dream, land ownership carries a number of responsibilities, including the annual payment of property taxes, having an estate plan, and articulating one’s vision for the use of the land by future generations.

If a Florida resident owns land located in multiple states and dies intestate (without a will), transferring ownership ...

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