After a person dies, their final affairs have to be settled in accordance with the law. This is what the probate process accomplishes. The basic goals of estate administration are straightforward – debts and taxes have to be paid and the rest of the property be given out to the heirs. But the devil is in the details.
A Florida estate gets started by filing the paperwork in the court to have someone appointed a personal representative, which is the person charged with winding down the estate. Before a person gets appointed as the personal representative, they may have to notify other people that are involve in the estate.
Once appointed, the personal representative of a Florida estate will have the power to collect the estate’s assets and make an inventory for the court, creditors and beneficiaries. The personal representative will also have to pay taxes for the final year of the decedent’s life and pay estate taxes. It’s important to timely make the appropriate estate tax elections, so as to not loose the estate tax benefits that the estate may be entitled to.
The personal representative will also need to publish notice to creditors and then approve or deny creditors’ claims. Three months after the publication of notice of creditors, the personal representative can start distributing the estate’s assets, making sure to first obtain approval and a written waiver and release from the heirs.
We help personal representatives file the right paperwork and follow the laws. Having a good Florida estate attorney in an estate administration means getting the estate closed out faster, saving money on estate taxes, losing as little money as possible to creditors, keeping heirs satisfied, and being secure in the confidence that the law is being followed and the estate is overseen by a professional who’s done this many times before. If you are looking for a Florida estate attorney, give me a call at (954) 239-1283.