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Clearwater Estate Planning & Probate Attorney
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Largo Probate Attorney

Probate is the legal process whereby a deceased person’s assets are transferred based on the terms of their will, or if there is no will, as provided by Florida law. Every Florida estate has a personal representative appointed to oversee the administration of that estate under the supervision of a probate court. In carrying out their duties, a personal representative must generally be represented by an experienced Largo probate attorney.

William Rambaum is a Florida Bar Board Certified Elder Law Specialist with over 35 years of experience advising clients on probate matters. If you are a potential or newly appointed personal representative who needs help figuring out what steps to take in handling your loved one’s final affairs, his office can provide step-by-step guidance. Probate need not be a difficult process, but it does require a careful understanding of rules and procedures to ensure an estate is administered in a timely manner.

Understanding the Steps in Administering a Florida Estate

There are some Florida estates that do not require probate. If the decedent left little property or debts, it is possible to administer the estate simply by filing an affidavit with the court. When the estimated value of an estate exceeds $75,000 or includes real property, however, a more formal administration process is necessary.

The personal representative must carry out a number of critical tasks in a formal probate, including but not limited to:

  • locating the decedent’s will, if any, and depositing it with the court;
  • filing an inventory of the assets belonging to the probate estate;
  • notifying any known or potential creditors of the decedent’s death;
  • approving or objecting to any creditor claims filed against the estate;
  • paying any valid expenses related to the administration of the probate estate and its property;
  • distributing any remaining assets to the beneficiaries designated in the decedent’s will, or to the heirs identified under Florida law if there is no will.

Keep in mind that even if a person owned substantial assets during their lifetime, not all of them are necessarily part of their probate estate. Assets that are jointly titled with another person, or which were placed in trust or subject to a “payable on death” beneficiary designation are typically excluded from probate. So it is important to work with a Largo probate attorney who can assist you in reviewing all of the decedent’s assets to determine their proper legal status.

Contact Largo Probate Attorney William Rambaum Today

Florida has a number of state-specific laws that can significantly affect the administration of a probate estate. For example, there are special provisions in the state constitution guaranteeing the homestead rights of a surviving spouse and minor children in the decedent’s primary residence. This can override contrary instructions in the decedent’s will.

If you would like to learn more about the process of administering a Florida estate from a qualified Largo probate attorney, call William Rambaum today at 727-781-5357 to schedule an appointment.

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