Estate and Trust Administration

When an individual passes away, his or her estate may be required to go through a Court process called probate. Probate is primarily a process through which title is transferred from the name of the deceased to the names of the beneficiaries. The probate estate consists of those assets that were owned by the decedent and the decedent alone; for example, an individually titled bank account, a retirement account with no named beneficiary, a house in the decedent’s own name with or owned with another person as tenants-in-common. Jointly-owned property does not pass through probate and neither does property with a named beneficiary nor does property titled in the name of a Trust. The probate process involves the application by a qualified fiduciary to a court having jurisdiction, to be appointed personal representative, often which person is nominated to serve in such role by the decedent in the decedent’s Will. The duties and powers of the personal representative are governed by Florida Statute. Creditors must be notified and given an opportunity to present their claims to the personal representative. Once the assets have been marshaled and the creditors have been satisfied, then the personal representative must account to the beneficiaries for the period of administration and distribute the assets to them. Upon successful completion of administration, the personal representative is discharged from any further duties and liabilities. As stated earlier, if the individual owned his or her assets through a well drafted and properly funded living (often referred to as a Revocable) trust, it is possible that no such probate administration is necessary, though the successor trustee needs to administer the distribution of the deceased’s assets. We can represent either fiduciaries or beneficiaries in the administration of your loved one’s probate or trust estate.

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2719 Hollywood Blvd

Hollywood, FL 33020

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