Probate & Estate Administration: Compassionate Guidance During Difficult Times
Losing a loved one is a difficult and emotional time, and dealing with the legal aspects of their estate can be overwhelming. At Every & Stack, our experienced attorney is here to guide you through the probate and estate administration process with compassion, knowledge, and dedication. With over forty years of experience, we have successfully handled a wide range of probate and estate administration cases, making us a top choice for individuals and families needing dependable legal support.
Validation of Wills and Asset Distribution
Probate is the legal process through which the assets and estate of a deceased person are settled, distributed, and managed under the supervision of the court. If a decedent has a will, the court validates its authenticity, ensuring it is genuine and accurate and confirming it complies with the legal requirements. The decedent’s assets are identified and assessed for value, and any outstanding debts and taxes are settled. The remaining assets are then distributed to the beneficiaries according to the terms of the will.
Two Types of Probate Proceedings in Florida
- Formal Administration: This type of probate proceedings is a traditional and more comprehensive form of probate in Florida. It is necessary when the value of the assets subject to probate exceeds $75,000 or there are outstanding debts of the decedent. The court appoints a personal representative to manage the estate settlement in this legal proceeding. The personal representative has legal authority to gather and distribute the estate’s assets, pay debts and taxes, and handle other estate-related matters.
- Summary Administration: This type of probate is for an estate with assets of $75,000 or less or if the decedent died two or more years ago. It is a simplified and expedited probate process for those who meet the eligibility. There is no requirement for a personal representative for summary administration. This form of administration is not available if the decedent has bills outstanding.
Ensuring Fair Distribution without a Will
Suppose the decedent does not have a will. In that case, the court, in a probate proceeding, oversees the distribution of the assets according to the Florida Intestate Succession laws. These laws are designed for the closest relatives to receive the inheritance.
Estate Administration: Alternate Methods of Setting an Estate
Estate Administration is a broad term encompassing all activities managing a deceased person’s estate, including probate. However, there are instances when probate and court intervention is not required. These are estates with minimal assets and those with alternate estate planning methods, such as a living trust, joint ownership, or beneficiary designations. Estate Administration is the settling of an estate, regardless of its size, complexity, or need for probate.
Common Sources of Conflict
Disagreements between beneficiaries, heirs, family members, and other interested parties are not uncommon. Sibling rivalries, longstanding family tensions, and disagreements over the distribution of assets can escalate into disputes. Personal relationships, emotions, and past grievances may fuel these conflicts.
Even the simplest probate or estate administration case may face disputes. The lawyer at Every & Stack has spent his legal career in estate planning law. Our legal team can minimize potential conflicts and disputes during a probate proceeding or an estate settlement. In cases where disputes arise, seeking resolution through mediation or alternative dispute resolution methods is preferable to costly and protracted litigation. However, our legal team is always prepared to proceed with litigation as needed.
Legal Guidance for Probate & Estate Administration
At Every & Stack, we provide the assistance you need to avoid legal pitfalls and bring peace of mind. Whether it is a probate case or another form of estate administration, we ensure the process proceeds smoothly during a challenging time.
Call Every & Stack to learn more about probate or estate administration. We invite you to contact us at (386) 255-1925 or online. We proudly represent clients in Daytona Beach, New Smyrna Beach, Flagler County, and Volusia County, Florida.