Probate and Trust Administration

John H. Simmons PLLC is available to assist any of the various parties’ interests in a decedent’s estate or trust.  This includes personal representatives, trustees, spouses, children and other beneficiaries. We can also protect the rights of creditors of the decedent.  We can assist you in complying with your fiduciary duties as a personal representative or trustee.

The passing of a loved one triggers a flurry of activity typically including funeral arrangements, identifying and dealing with assets, debts, potential beneficiaries and other responsibilities at an emotional time.  Our law firm offers strong legal representation, sound advice, streamlined processes, and other legal support in a compassionate setting.

Probate Administration: Probate is a court supervised process to wrap up a decedent’s financial affairs, including determining probate assets, satisfying debts and distributing the remainder to the beneficiaries.

Probate Assets: Not all assets where the decedent held an ownership interest at the time of death are included in the probate estate.  The manner that assets are titled is a paramount factor in this determination.  As a general rule, assets titled solely in the decedent’s name (without a beneficiary designation) or as a tenant in common are probate assets.  Assets typically excluded from probate include those held as an estate by the entireties, as joint tenants with the right of survivorship, life estates, those with designated beneficiaries to name a few.  In certain circumstances, special rules apply to the decedent’s homestead based on Florida’s Constitution.

Summary Administration: For estates not exceeding $70,000 or where the decedent passed more than two years ago, Summary Administration is an abbreviated probate option.

 

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Formal Administration: For estates larger than $70,000 where the decedent passed less than two years ago, Formal Administration is required.

Ancillary Administration:  In cases where the decedent was domiciled outside the state of Florida, but owned Florida real property, a Florida ancillary administration will likely be necessary.

Call the law firm of John H. Simmons PLLC today at (561) 288-1300 for a no-charge initial consultation.

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