Probate & Trust Administration

What Is A Personal Representative?

The personal representative is the person, bank or trust company appointed by the judge to be in charge of the administration of the decedent’s probate estate. In Florida, the term “personal representative” is used instead of such terms as “executor, administrator and administratrix.” The personal representative has a legal duty to administer the probate estate [...]

By | 2018-08-24T13:37:30+00:00 August 7th, 2018|

What Happens To A Decedent’s Revocable Trust At Death?

If the decedent had established what is commonly referred to as a “Revocable Trust,” a “Living Trust” or a “Revocable Living Trust,” in certain circumstances, the trustee may be required to pay expenses of administration of the decedent’s probate estate, enforceable claims of the decedent’s creditors and any federal estate taxes payable from the trust [...]

By | 2018-06-27T02:37:37+00:00 June 23rd, 2018|

Why Does The Personal Representative Need An Attorney?

A personal representative should always engage a qualified attorney to assist in the administration of the decedent’s probate estate. Many legal issues arise, even in the simplest probate estate administration, and most of these issues will be novel and unfamiliar to non-attorneys. The attorney for the personal representative advises the personal representative on the rights [...]

By | 2018-06-27T02:25:11+00:00 June 11th, 2018|

What Are Probate Assets?

Probate administration applies only to probate assets. Probate assets are those assets that were owned in the decedent’s sole name at death, or that were owned by the decedent and one or more co-owners and lacked a provision for automatic succession of ownership at death. For example: A bank account or investment account in the [...]

By | 2018-06-27T02:31:15+00:00 May 22nd, 2018|

Whom Will The Court Appoint To Serve As Personal Representative?

If the decedent had a valid will, the judge will appoint the person or institution named by the decedent in that will to serve as personal representative, as long as the named person or bank or trust company is legally qualified to serve. If the decedent did not have a valid will, the surviving spouse [...]

By | 2018-06-27T02:29:57+00:00 May 15th, 2018|

What Are The Estate’s Obligations To Estate Creditors?

One of the primary purposes of probate is to ensure that the decedent’s debts are paid in an orderly fashion. The personal representative must use diligent efforts to give actual notice of the probate proceeding to ‘known or reasonably ascertainable’ creditors. This gives the creditors an opportunity to file claims in the decedent’s probate estate, [...]

By | 2018-06-27T02:28:30+00:00 May 7th, 2018|

Alternatives To Formal Administration In Florida

Florida law provides for several alternate abbreviated probate procedures other than the formal administration process.   “Summary Administration” is generally available only if the value of the estate subject to probate in Florida (less property which is exempt from the claims of creditors; for example, homestead real property in many circumstances) is not more than [...]

By | 2018-06-27T02:38:35+00:00 April 17th, 2018|

Who Supervises The Probate Administration?

A circuit court judge presides over probate proceedings. The judge will rule on the validity of the decedent’s will, or if the decedent died intestate, and will consider evidence to confirm the identities of the decedent’s heirs as those who will receive the decedent’s probate estate. If the decedent had a will that nominated a [...]

By | 2018-06-27T02:33:21+00:00 April 17th, 2018|

Who Can Be A Personal Representative?

The personal representative is the person, bank or trust company appointed by the judge to be in charge of the administration of the decedent’s probate estate. To qualify to serve as a personal representative, an individual must be either a Florida resident or, regardless of residence, a spouse, sibling, parent, child or other close relative [...]

By | 2018-06-27T02:32:08+00:00 April 4th, 2018|

How Are A Decedent’s Creditors Satisfied At Decedent’s Death?

Florida’s trust law does not have a specific procedure for identifying and paying creditors at death. The creditors have up to 2 years from the decedent’s death to file claims against the estate. The trustee may be reluctant to distribute the trust assets to the beneficiaries until he or she is satisfied that all claims [...]

By | 2018-06-27T01:51:10+00:00 March 1st, 2018|