Affidavit of Heirs: Speed Up The Probate Process by Locating Heirs

Clients often want to speed up the probate process.  One way that clients can help their attorney speed up the process is to provide the attorney with information about the heirs in the case.  An Affidavit of Heirs, completed by someone who is familiar with the relatives of the decedent but who is not him or herself an heir provides important information to the court in the probate case.  By identifying the heirs, Read More

What Happens if an Heir Cannot be Located?

Ordinarily, when someone passes away, their assets pass on to their heirs. Assets pass on to heirs via a Personal Representative, the person, bank, or entity in charge of distributing the deceased person’s assets. Usually, the Personal Representative is named in the deceased person’s will. For example, if someone with six adult children passes away, they may leave a will designating part of their assets to each of Read More

Is Purchasing Property in Probate Difficult?

Whether you’re looking for your next family home or you’re interested in investing in real estate, probate properties present an attractive opportunity. Probate properties can be competitively priced, and in many cases, executors are motivated to sell and cross one more item off of their to-do list. However, there are difficulties that come with purchasing probate properties. Know what to expect so you can plan Read More

Understanding Inheritance

There’s a lot to do when a loved one passes. On top of handling your own grief, you may have to make final arrangements, communicate with family members or friends, and handle legal affairs. The decedent’s estate is a high priority—prompt handling of the estate ensures that beneficiaries receive their intended inheritance. Several Ways to Inherit in Florida Depending on your loved one’s final arrangements, Read More

Probate 101: How to Locate Properties in Florida

One of the main jobs of an executor or personal representative is to create an inventory of the decedent’s property. With this information, the executor/personal representative can decide how assets are to be allotted among beneficiaries. As an executor or personal representative, there are several ways you can locate a decedent’s assets. Using the Will or Trust Many people start by looking at their loved one’s Read More

Sample Marketing Letter to Beneficiaries

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5 Reasons Probate Might Be Restarted

Handling a loved one’s estate after their death can be emotionally trying, and beyond that, it is often very time-consuming. While the probate process often goes very smoothly, especially with the help of an attorney, there are several situations that can cause the process to slow down or restart. Estate Tax Returns Taxes can add significant complications to estate proceedings, tying up funds and delaying Read More

A Brief Overview of the Florida Petition for Discharge and Final Accounting

The Petition for Discharge and Final Accounting is the last phase of the probate process and is important for Florida personal representatives to know about. In a formal administration, the personal representative is in charge of administering the assets of the deceased. They have a fiduciary duty to follow the wishes of the deceased if there was a Will and to do what is best for the estate. The personal Read More

Jack of all Trades, Master of None; Why your estate planning attorney should not be your probate attorney

Spoiler Alert: estate planning and probate are not the same things. Full disclosure, I am a probate attorney and not an estate planning attorney. Yes, there is a distinction, and yes that distinction is important. Before you seek out someone to prepare your will or trust and before you refer your clients to someone for a probate matter, there are some things you should know. Most of the time estate planning and Read More

6 Common Causes of Probate Disputes

When a loved one dies and they leave behind their assets (or “estate”), we often see problems arise during the probate process. Probate is the legal process in which the deceased’s estate is administered to their debtors, beneficiaries, and their heirs. As probate often involves the decedent’s family and money, the process can be contentious and can cause legal showdowns between the parties involved. With that said, Read More