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Articles

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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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What is Probate and Why do I Need to do Estate Planning?

What is Probate? Probate is the process for transferring the assets of a deceased person to those persons or entities that are legally entitled to such assets. It is a court supervised process where a judge determines the beneficiaries of the decedent, requires the payment of all lawful debts, and ensures that the proper parties […]

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What is a Mortgage Foreclosure?

When a person buys real property, often a loan is involved. The buyer typically signs a promissory note where he or she agrees to pay back the debt and then secures such obligation with a mortgage pledging the real property as collateral. In the event the borrower, known as the “mortgagor”, defaults under the terms […]

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What is a “Short Sale”?

Homeowners who are unable to make the payments on the mortgage on their home have several options to consider. One such option is trying to sell their home and satisfy the outstanding mortgage. Unfortunately, because home values have substantially declined, often the value of the home is less than the amount of the mortgage owed. […]

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