Don’t Forget the Florida Elective Share

Certain events in our lives often trigger an estate plan review. For example, if you get married or divorced, it is very likely you will want to change your Will and other estate planning documents. But what happens if you just find yourself estranged from your spouse? Can you change your estate plan to disinherit your husband or wife? You certainly can try, but don’t forget the Florida elective share. This law may Read More

Timeline for a Probate Case

We all own things. But when we die, where does our property go? How will our final debts be paid? This is where probate comes in. After someone dies, their Will usually is submitted to a probate court.  Even if there was no Will, the probate court will likely appoint a Personal Representative. What follows is the administration or management of the deceased person’s probate estate assets. How long this process takes Read More

Will Contests and How to Avoid Them

When country singer Glen Campbell died in 2017, he probably did not foresee the manner in which his family subsequently chose to handle his estate. He did leave a Will. However, three of his eight children were specifically excluded from the Will, which led them to contest the Will’s validity. Now, Mr. Campbell’s estate is being held up in probate court until the matter is decided. Whether a family is famous or not, Read More

Digital Currencies as Probate Assets

The personal representative of an estate has an important job. One of the most important parts of that job is locating and gathering probate assets. Finding a decedent’s car and house may not be hard, but what about items that are stored somewhere, such as personal property, cash or bitcoins? The job may be harder when treating digital currencies as probate assets. Planning ahead can make the job easier. What are Read More

What Should I Do with a Notice of Probate?

Receiving a court notice in the mail can be a little unnerving. Many people have had little to no experience with legal proceedings. For example, Danielle received a notice of probate by certified mail, return receipt requested. She was not sure what action she was supposed to take, if any. What she does now may be determined by several factors. Probate Procedures After a personal representative is appointed by the Read More

Probate vs. Non-Probate Assets

Everything you own at the time of your death will be transferred to your heirs. However, not all your property will pass through probate. For example, when Chase B. died, he left behind property that included two homes, three cars, several retirement accounts, a thriving business, and a saltwater fishing boat. The personal representative of his estate started gathering Chase’s property, only to learn that some assets Read More

Understanding Florida Simultaneous Death Law

During an accident or natural disaster, it may be difficult or impossible to determine which victim lived longer than the other. This type of situation can cause serious consequences for beneficiaries and contingent beneficiaries. Understanding the Florida Simultaneous Death Law may also make a difference in the estate planning choices you make. Simultaneous Death Law: What It Says Florida Statutes 732.601 Read More

The Team Approach to Probate

When Kevin passed away, he left an estate worth $3 million, property he owned separately, property owned jointly with his second wife, and both minor and adult children. He had not consulted with an estate planning attorney for many years, so his estate plan was not as current or up-to-date as it should have been. As his family and business associates squabbled over his estate, it became clear they needed to take a Read More

The Out-of-State Personal Representative

Probate can become complicated, especially when an out-of-state personal representative is involved. What is a personal representative? The person who takes on the responsibility of shepherding an estate through probate is a personal representative. This person is also sometimes referred to as the executor. Someone who wants to serve as a personal representative must: Be at least 18 years of age, Never Read More

6 Steps to Take When Executing an Estate

The person who executes or administers (the preferred term) an estate during probate is usually called the personal representative. The jobs of getting an estate through probate may seem simple. However, estates vary greatly in value and complexity. Generally, though, there are at least 6 steps to take when administering an estate. #1 Obtain Multiple Copies of the Death Certificate The personal representative may Read More