The days following the death of a loved one can be incredibly difficult. You deserve the chance to focus solely on grieving and moving forward. Unfortunately, this is also the time when those closest to the deceased must take care of important legal matters, including probate.
Here at Vasti Law, P.A. in Tavares, Florida, we understand how frustrating it can be to navigate the complexities of probate, especially while you are still in the early stages of grieving. However, you don't have to face this process alone. Our attorney can help.
We take a compassionate approach to every probate case we handle, striving to help our clients understand the legalities involved and the obstacles that may arise. If you have been appointed the executor or administrator of a loved one's estate, let us explain your duties, address your concerns, and stand by your side. Schedule a consultation today if you are located in The Villages, Clermont, Inverness, or anywhere else in central Florida.
Probate is the legal process of proving the validity of the decedent's will, identifying and inventorying their property, and paying off any debts or taxes owed. In addition, their property will be appraised at this time and assets will be distributed according to the decedent's will or state law.
Some assets do have to go through probate, like real estate, vehicles, or any property with shared ownership. However, some do not. Retirement accounts, life insurance proceeds, U.S. savings bonds, and pension plan distributions are just some of the examples of property that is exempt from probate.
If the deceased person had a will, the probate process is much simpler for the surviving family members. If there is no will to guide the distribution of property, the decisions will be left to the state or a court-appointed executor.
There are two types of probate administration available in Florida: summary administration and formal administration.
Summary administration is used when the total value of the deceased's assets subject to probate amounts to $75,000 or less, or if the deceased has been dead for more than two years.
Formal administration is used for estates worth more than $75,000, or when a personal representative is needed for other reasons.
The first step of the probate process involves appointing an executor or administrator. An executor is responsible for paying off the deceased’s debts and distributing their assets to the beneficiaries according to the person’s will, whereas an administrator is a person who oversees an estate when someone dies without a will.
Only the probate court can appoint an executor. Even if an intended executor is named in the will, the court still must accept the terms of the will and formally appoint them. The court appoints administrators, with the first entitled person being the surviving spouse or an heir.
If you want your loved ones to be able to avoid probate when you pass away, there are several things you can do now. Creating a will or setting up trusts are just a couple of your options.
Wills and trusts are both estate planning tools used to transfer your estate to your heirs. Wills are the most affordable option upfront, but they will not always prevent your family from going through probate. Trusts can be much more complicated, and therefore they are more expensive, but they are designed to prevent your family from facing probate in the future. While it is always important to have a will, if you feel your beneficiaries could use some additional protection, a trust may be your best option.
At Vasti Law, P.A., we understand how difficult this time can be, and that is why we take a compassionate approach to helping our clients through probate and any complications they may face along the way. From filing all necessary documentation to answer any questions that arise, we have the experience necessary to guide you through every step of the process. Schedule a consultation with us today to start moving forward. We serve individuals and families in Tavares, The Villages, Clermont, Inverness, and the surrounding areas of central Florida.
If you have recently been appointed the executor of your loved one’s estate, or you have family members who want to contest the will of the deceased, contact us at Vasti Law, P.A. We proudly serve the residents of our local community of Tavares, as well as the surrounding areas, including The Villages, Clermont, and Inverness, Florida.