Probate is the court-supervised proceeding where an individual's Last Will & Testament is filed with the court at death, a personal representative (sometimes called "the executor") is appointed, assets are gathered, creditors paid and the remaining assets distributed to the beneficiaries of the estate. Florida law provides that the personal representative of every estate must be represented by a lawyer admitted to practice in Florida. The probate process is very exacting and subject to strict time and procedural requirements.
Beyond the requirements of the local probate court, there typically are other matters that must be addressed following the death of a loved one, including: (i) administration of non-probate assets, such as bank accounts, retirement accounts, life insurance policies and trusts; (ii) federal and state tax filings; and (iii) administration of assets located outside Florida. Taken together as a whole, these constitute the estate administration process.
Following is a list of services the firm routinely provides in this area:
Probate of Testate Estates (if the decedent died with a Will)
Probate of Intestate Estates (if the decedent died without a Will)
Ancillary Estates (for estates of a non-resident decedent with or without a Will)
Federal Estate Tax Returns
State Estate Tax Returns
Post-Mortem Tax Planning
Fiduciary Services (serving as personal representative or trustee)
Expert Witness/Subject-matter expert