Qualities to Look for in a Personal Representative

Choosing the right personal representative for your estate is an extremely important decision. Personal representatives take on responsibilities and duties that will affect loved ones. This is not a decision to be taken lightly, so you may want to consider some of the following qualities when looking for your ideal personal representative. Willing and Able Most of a personal representative’s duties begin as soon as Read More

How to Handle Unusual Estate Assets

Whether a deceased person leaves a valid Florida Will or not, their possessions must go somewhere, usually through probate. During a probate proceeding, a personal representative will be appointed to settle the decedent’s affairs and dispose of their estate assets. That sounds simple on paper, but the personal representative often has a huge job ahead of them. This is especially true when the estate includes unusual Read More

Florida Probate System

When people engage in estate planning discussions, the subject of probate is probably going to come up. Many people actively try to avoid probate. Yet, many people have poor estate plans that don’t protect them from probate or, even worse, don’t even have an estate plan. If you find yourself in the middle of a probate proceeding, it will help to understand the Florida probate system. The Purpose of Read More

Estate Planning Lessons from George Washington and Abraham Lincoln

The President of the United States is one of the most powerful individuals in the world. The power held by this office (and the corresponding pressure) is mindboggling to the average person. Attention to detail, given the number of issues presidents consider, is critical. However, some presidents managed to ignore something as important as executing an effective Will. As George Washington and Abraham Lincoln found Read More

Florida Ancillary Probate

Elizabeth, a 49-year old Washington resident, died leaving real property including a vacation home in Florida. Jack, an entrepreneur who lived in Massachusetts at the time of his death, left behind an estate that included credits due from Florida residents. And Dana passed away in Minnesota, but had liens on property located in Florida. What do these three people have in common? Their estates will all be subject to a 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

Is a Lady Bird Deed in Your Future?

Estate planning attorneys use many tools or strategies to create effective estate plans for their clients. An estate plan, or life care plan, covers many aspects of a person’s life including what type of end-of-life treatment they want, who will make medical or financial decisions for them if necessary, and how to dispose of property after death. The “Lady Bird Deed” is one tool used by lawyers when their client’s 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

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