Should the Personal Representative Hire an Attorney?
A qualified attorney should always be hired by the personal representative in order to assist with the administration of the decedent’s probate estate. There are always issues that arise and most of these legal problems will be unfamiliar to non-attorneys. The personal representative will receive advice from the attorney regarding his or her duties and […]Read Article >>
Does the Judge Appoint a Personal Representative?
If the decedent had a valid will, the judge will appoint the person or institution named by the decedent in his or her will to serve as a personal representative, as long as the named person or company is legally qualified to serve. When the decedent does not have a valid will, the surviving spouse […]Read Article >>
Can anyone be a Personal Representative?
In order to qualify as a personal representative, an individual must be a resident of Florida, or a sibling, spouse, parent, child, or other close relative of the decedent. If the individual is not a Florida resident, and is not closely related to the decedent, he or she cannot serve as a personal representative. Any […]Read Article >>
What is the Role of a Personal Representative?
A personal representative is appointed by the judge to be in charge of the administration of the decedent’s probate estate. “Personal Representative” is also known as the “executor,” “executrix,” “administrator,” and “administratrix.” The personal representative has the legal duty to administer the probate estate in accordance with Florida law. A personal representative must do the […]Read Article >>
What if There is No Will?
If a person dies without a valid will, his or her probate estate is known as an “intestate” estate. When a decedent dies intestate, the probate assets are almost never turned over to the State of Florida. The heirs are the people who are related to the decedent. They are described in the Florida statute […]Read Article >>
Do I Need a Will?
A will is a legal document that is signed by the decedent and two witnesses according to Florida law. In the will, the decedent names the beneficiaries who are to receive the decedent’s probate assets. In essence, the will is a letter to the Court advising the judge on how the decedent wants his or […]Read Article >>
Why is Probate Needed?
In order to pass ownership of the decedent’s probate assets to the decedent’s beneficiaries, probate is necessary. When the decedent leaves a valid will, it will be ineffective to pass ownership of probate assets to the decedent’s beneficiaries until the will is admitted for probate in the court. Probate is still necessary to pass the […]Read Article >>
What is Probate?
The term probate is used in several different ways. It can refer to the filing of a will with a court office, but is more generally known as the process supervised by the court to identify and distribute the decedent’s assets to the beneficiaries, while also paying his or her lawful debts. The probate process […]Read Article >>
What is a Living Will, Health Care Proxy, and Power of Attorney?
The purpose of this article is to discuss some of the most common documents that are part of a proper estate plan. These documents include a living will, health care proxy and power of attorney. The Living Will is a written document where an individual states that he or she does not want any life […]Read Article >>
Guidelines for Estate Planning Meeting
There are five components to a basic estate plan: Will: A legal declaration by which a person, the testator, names one or more persons to manage his or her estate and provides for the transfer of his or her property at death. Living Will: A written document that states a person’s wishes regarding life-support or […]Read Article >>