When most people think of probate administration, they think of a “formal” probate administration. In a formal probate, a personal representative is appointed by a judge in order to settle the estate. A personal representative is sometimes called an executor in other states.
After the court appoints the personal representative, he or she has the authority to gather all of the assets, notify and pay the creditors, file the necessary tax returns, and then ultimately distribute the assets to the heirs or beneficiaries.
Depending on how organized the deceased person was, this process may or may not be easy. If the personal representative was involved in paying bills, he or she may know where all of the assets are and who all of the creditors are. The personal representative may have even assisted with filing prior tax returns. However, if the survivors don’t know anything about the deceased person’s affairs and the deceased person did not leave instructions, this may turn into a long frustrating process. It is important to have an estate plan so that your probate administration isn’t a burden on your loved ones.
The role of a Seminole Formal Administration Lawyer….
Florida probate law requires that you have an attorney file papers in Formal Administration (estates valued at $75,000 or more). With a home and retirement assets, many estates easily meet that level. We assist the personal representative (appointed by a judge or named in the will) in all duties:
- Opening an estate and notifying creditors
- Gathering assets
- Filing the inventory of assets after a 60-day waiting period
- Paying taxes and debts of the estate
- Distribution of assets to heirs