South Florida Lawyer Advises on Wills and Probate Laws in Florida
Fort Lauderdale firm helps estate representatives carry out their duties
Addressing the property matters that arise when someone dies can be a complicated challenge at an already difficult time. Marc Brown, P.A. in Fort Lauderdale is an accomplished probate attorney who provides detailed advice and comprehensive assistance with estate administration whether the decedent had a will or not.
Knowledgeable legal counselor develops effective probate strategies
Retaining a qualified Florida probate attorney helps estate executors avoid unnecessary delays and costs that could reduce the inheritance that eventually goes to the decedent’s heirs. Our firm develops a complete probate strategy so that you can:
- Understand items that transferred outside of probate — Not everything that someone owns becomes part of their estate when they die. Jointly held items, such as real estate and bank accounts, become sole possession of the other owner(s). Moreover, certain estate planning strategies facilitate the transfer of property outside of the probate process, including programs that incorporate trusts and life insurance benefits.
- Select the appropriate process — When the total value of assets to be probated is not more than $75,000, summary administration is available under Florida law. This simplified process does not require a personal representative. There is also disposition without probate for cases where someone did not own real estate and whose final expenses exceed the amount within the estate. In other circumstances, the formation administration process must be followed, under which the court appoints an estate representative, issues letters of administration, hears objections and approves key transactions. This procedure usually takes at least six months.
- Manage and settle the estate — From the filing of a will through the point where the court closes the estate and the decedent’s assets are distributed, our firm handles formal administration tasks according to the highest professional standards. This includes opening and closing bank accounts, creating a thorough inventory of estate property, seeing that expenses such as taxes are paid and addressing any disputes that arise.
Serving as the personal representative of an estate is a serious legal responsibility. You can rely on us to help you carry out your fiduciary duties successfully.
Dedicated attorney assists with finding and collecting assets for probate
One facet of estate administration that can prove to be a challenge is locating all of a decedent’s assets and transferring ownership of each item into the estate so that they can be given to heirs upon court authorization. Even if someone did not keep thorough records or had complex financial holdings, we have the ability and experience to identify hard-to-find assets and take the steps needed to make them part of the estate.
Accomplished Florida lawyer assesses whether estate taxes will apply
The State of Florida does not assess any type of estate or inheritance tax, which is one reason why so many look to establish legal residence here during their later years. Like people who live in other states, however, Floridians are subject to federal estate taxes if the value of their estate exceeds the exemption amount, which is $11.58 million for the year 2020. Should your assets approach this level, we can assess the likelihood that the tax will apply and explore ways to lessen the burden by excluding certain property from probate. Our firm also advises people who reside in Florida part-time on potential liability if their estates are administrated in another jurisdiction.
Contact a thorough Florida probate lawyer to make an appointment for a free consultation
Marc Brown, P.A. advises clients on a full range of Florida probate matters. If you have been named an executor for an estate or have another concern regarding the administration of a will, please call 954-703-4199 or contact us online. We offer free initial consultations in our Fort Lauderdale office and, by appointment only, in West Palm Beach.