After a loved one has passed away, it may be time to ensure that their wishes are fulfilled. In Jupiter, estate executors are called personal representatives, and they have an important job.
If you have been named the personal representative under someone’s will, or you believe you have rights under a will or trust, it would be wise to call an attorney. An adept Jupiter probate lawyer may be able to point you in the right direction toward fulfilling your duties to a late friend or relative’s estate and exercising your rights.
Probate is a court-supervised method for making sure that a deceased person’s wishes are fulfilled in a legal and just manner.
The person who has died may be called the decedent during probate proceedings, and the recipients of the assets might be referred to as the beneficiaries. A Jupiter court may appoint a personal representative to administer the relevant estate matters. After the court selects them, a personal representative will be tasked with key responsibilities, including paying creditors and taxes.
The personal representative will also need to determine the value of the estate’s assets before distributing them. It is a requirement under Florida law for a personal representative in Jupiter to hire a probate lawyer to shepherd them through the process (unless the personal representative happens to be a lawyer).
There are two types of probate in Jupiter, summary administration and formal administration. One can be quite a bit lengthier than the other.
Summary administration may be an appropriate measure if the decedent’s probate estate is valued at less than $75,000 or if the decedent has been deceased for more than 2 years. However, if the decedent has been deceased for less than 2 years, it is necessary to first make sure that all creditors have either been paid or have been given proper notice.
Beneficiaries that are granted monies or real property via summary administration are not yet free and clear. Under Florida Statute §735.206, recipients of estate assets may still become liable during a two-year window following the decedent’s death if someone makes a valid claim against the decedent’s estate during that period of time.
Formal administration is a somewhat lengthy procedure (typically 6-12 mos., but can be longer) that involves many fiduciary duties. It starts when the holder of a testamentary instrument, or will, provides it to the court clerk. As has been codified by F.S. §732.901, the custodian of a will must present it to the court within ten days of learning of the decedent’s death. If no will exists, then the relatives of the decedent can be granted a portion of the assets in the order and amounts provided by law.
Once the court has been given the will and has appointed a personal representative, that named person must begin the formal process of gathering estate assets, paying taxes and creditors, and ultimately ensuring that the monies and property go to the correct persons.
If you are interested in learning more about the probate process in Jupiter or have recently lost a loved you who named you as the personal representative, contact us today. Make an appointment to speak with a proficient Jupiter probate lawyer about your needs after the death of a loved one. Competent counsel in this area may be able to answer your questions, as well as address your concerns.