PROBATE

Probate Attorney Medina Law Group photo 1The death of a loved one is an emotional and stressful time. Probate is a legal process by which a Florida court re-titles property of a deceased individual to his or her beneficiaries or heirs. This process is necessary when, for example, a deceased individual owns a bank account, stocks, or other asset solely in their name with no beneficiary listed.
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The probate process also allows the personal representative (the person named by the court to act on behalf of the deceased individual’s property) to:
  • gather all of the assets,
  • handle all creditors,
  • carry on any lawsuit on behalf of the deceased individual,
  • distribute all of that person’s property, and to
  • pay any taxes due from the deceased individual or from their estate.
Probate is a very important process that is often feared due to lack of information. The major concerns regarding probate include that it is too expensive or that it takes too long. While the process may take more than one year (some much longer), most are completed within four to twelve months. Of course, there are fees associated with probate. However, all fees will be paid by the estate. All personal representatives must be represented by an attorney licensed in Florida, and the attorney is allowed a reasonable fee. This fee will depend upon various factors, such as the total amounts of assets owned by the estate, the nature of the assets, the number of beneficiaries, and whether anyone contests actions of the personal representative. Court costs are usually between $375 and $450. Some other costs may also apply. Even with the fees and costs, a probate, once completed, provides clarity as to the assets distributed and ends the claims of any creditors. As a means to limit the fees and time involved, if the estate is under $75,000, a simplified probate called summary administration may be an option. Under a summary administration, no personal representative is appointed, and the matter can be usually resolved within a month. Medina Law Group, P.A. has the experience to be able to guide you through Florida’s probate laws and can assist you in efficiently administering the estate of a family member or loved one. Further, we have the commitment and compassion to assist you during a very stressful and emotional time. If you would like more information, please contact us to schedule an appointment.