Call us today:
(904) 395-3488

PROBATE

When you die, your assets, other than those in your Living Trust, or that otherwise pass outside of your estate, will go through probate, which is a Court process initiated by the filing of your Will in the Probate Court; the approval of that Will by the Probate Judge, and the appointment of a Personal Representative to administer your estate. If you own assets in more than one state, you are likely to have to go through more than one Probate process. Your Personal Representative must gather and account for your assets (other than those passing outside of your estate, such as those in your Living Trust). Your Peronal Representative must value your estate, including the securing of necessary appraisals, file an inventory with the Court, assure the satisfaction of your liabiities, prepare any required estate tax returns, and file an accounting with the Court.

Hopefully, Probate can be a process without controversy; though frequently it is not; since family members or others may contest the validity of a Will; make other claims against your estate, or argue whether they have received their rightful shares if they are accorded certain rights under the statutes of Florida or elsewhere. Frequently, there are ambiguities in the Will itself that need interpretation and can be the source of controversy. Creditors may make claims that the Personal Representative chooses to dispute.

I consider that it would be my privilege to represent your estate in this Process, and hopefully make it as smooth sailing a process as possible. To the extent that your assets have been placed in a Living Trust prior to your death, and are therefore not assets that need to “pass through” probate, the process can be simplified, particularly if you own assets in other states as well as Florida, and would therefore face a probate process in more than one state unless your out-of-state assets have been placed in your Living Trust. Utilizing a Living Trust, however, does not normally insulate assets from creditors of your estate.