What Are My Rights as the Surviving Spouse?

When a spouse passes away, the surviving spouse has many decisions to make. It’s important to know a surviving spouse’s rights as those decisions are made. Fortunately, Florida statutes contain provisions stating certain surviving spouse rights. Will vs. Intestate The first thing to learn is whether the deceased person (the decedent) executed a valid Will. If so, probate assets will pass in compliance with the Read More

Florida Probate with an Out-of-State Executor

Probate technically means the proving of a deceased person’s Will. It also means the time during which the executor or personal representative settles the deceased person’s estate. The whole probate process can be time consuming, and it’s even worse when the executor doesn’t live nearby. Proceedings in a Florida court with an out-of-state executor require a little extra attention. Probate Proceedings in Read More

The No-Beneficiary Estate

Estates come in all sizes, both in the value of the estate assets and the number of people involved. Some people write Wills that name an executor and several beneficiaries. Some don’t. In fact, only about 44% of Americans have written a Will. But whether a Will exists, estate assets not disposed of in any other way must still be transferred to someone through a process known as “probate.” A person is referred to as Read More

Managing Assets During Probate

One purpose of estate planning is to avoid probate, but sometimes probate is unavoidable.  It may take some time until the executor is legally able to distribute assets.  How will the executor go about managing assets during probate? Executor Duties During Probate An estate executor, also known as a personal representative, is charged with settling and distributing an estate according to the decedent’s Will and Read More

Characteristics of Properly Executed Will

Legal documents are sometimes invalidated because they were signed incorrectly, not dated, not notarized, or not signed at all. Meeting legal requirements is especially critical when it comes to your Last Will and Testament. After all, people may not learn a Will is deficient until it is too late to have the testator re-do the document. It’s important to know what constitutes a properly executed Will. How can we Read More

What Property Is Exempt From Creditor Claims?

Most of us want to leave as much of our property to our families as possible. But in many cases after someone passes away, they leave behind debts that must be paid, too. Many states, including Florida, have enacted laws to protect certain property. While developing your estate plan, take time to find out if you have property that is exempt from creditor claims. Claims Against an Estate. Public notice is published Read More

No Will? There’s a Way: Florida Intestate Proceedings

When someone dies without leaving a valid Last Will and Testament, they are referred to as being “intestate.” But dying without a Will doesn’t mean there’s no estate to distribute to appropriate parties. It just means there’s no document stating how to do it. If there’s no Will, Florida law still provides a way to settle an intestate estate. One thing to note right away is that some assets pass to surviving Read More