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Dunedin Probate Attorney

After a close family member dies, you may suddenly find yourself appointed to serve as the personal representative or executor of the probate estate. This is an important responsibility that requires strict compliance with a number of rules and regulations imposed by Florida law. And while many probate estates are relatively simple to administer, there are still problems that can arise if you do not take the time to understand these laws properly.

Your first step should be to contact a qualified Dunedin probate attorney who can provide legal advice representation to you and the estate. William Rambaum is a Florida Bar Board Certified Elder Law Specialist with over 35 years of experience in handling probate matters for clients throughout Pinellas County. He can walk you through each step of the estate administration process and help to ensure the successful handling of your loved one’s final affairs.

The Basics of Florida Probate Administration

A person’s probate estate consists of any property owned in their sole name that is not otherwise disposed of by some non-probate process. For example, a bank account in your sole name would be a probate asset. But a joint bank account is not, as the survivor would automatically inherit those funds upon your death. Along similar lines, any assets that you placed in a revocable trust before your death would be excluded from your probate estate.

If the deceased left a last will and testament, that document must be filed with the probate court and formally “admitted.” Normally, the will nominates a personal representative to administer the probate estate and names any beneficiaries to receive any probate assets that remain after the debts and expenses of that estate have been paid. Even without a will, however, probate is still necessary and must follow Florida laws governing intestate estates.

Formal probate administration in Florida includes a number of tasks, such as:

  • identifying and marshaling all of the estate’s assets;
  • notifying any known or potential creditors of the deceased that there is a probate estate;
  • approving or denying creditor claims filed against the estate;
  • managing (and possibly selling) any real estate or investments that belong to the estate during probate; and
  • filing any final tax returns or estate accountings that may be required under law.

Contact Dunedin Probate Attorney William Rambaum Today

Formal probate is not always necessary. Under Florida law, smaller estates with limited assets (and no real estate) can utilize a summary administration process that is much quicker and eliminates many of the formal steps described above. Before making any decisions regarding the administration of a loved one’s estate, however, it is best to consult with a skilled Dunedin probate attorney who can review your situation and offer advice that is tailored to your loved one’s estate. If you have additional questions, or would just like to speak with someone as soon as possible, call attorney William Rambaum today at 727-781-5357 to schedule an appointment.

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