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Clearwater Estate Planning & Probate Attorney > Palm Harbor Probate Attorney

Palm Harbor Probate Attorney

The death of a loved one is never easy. On top of the emotional burden of processing your own loss and dealing with matters such as planning a funeral, there is also the need to administer your loved one’s estate. The process of administering such an estate is known as probate. And while it need not be as complicated as you might imagine, it still requires following certain procedures before an estate can be finally settled and distributed to the deceased person’s heirs.

If you are involved with a family member’s estate, our Palm Harbor probate attorney can help. Attorney William Rambaum is a Florida Board Certified Elder Law Specialist with over 35 years experience in matters related to the settlement of estates in Pinellas County. His office can advise you on what needs to be done to bring the estate to a successful closing so that your family can try and move on with their lives.

How Probate Works in Florida

Florida law provides for two types of probate administration. The first, known as formal administration, is a court-supervised process of setting up an estate, appointing a personal representative (executor), and carrying out various tasks required by law to administer the deceased person’s property. The second type of probate is for small estates where the deceased only left a limited amount of personal property (as opposed to real estate). In these estates, most of the formal probate is unnecessary.

With respect to formal probate administration, however, there are a number of steps involved. Just to outline a few of them:

  • The deceased person’s will, if any, must be located and filed with the probate court.
  • The probate court will issue letters of administration appointing a personal representative to oversee the estate. The personal representative is usually named in the deceased person’s will, or appointed based on an order of priority established by Florida law.
  • The personal representative must locate and gather any probate assets that belonged to the deceased.
  • The personal representative must notify any potential heirs and creditors of the deceased, pay any valid debts or taxes owed by the deceased, and resolve any other claims that may arise against the estate.
  • After all debts and administration expenses are paid, the personal representative must file a formal accounting with the court and distribute any remaining assets to the beneficiaries named in the deceased individual’s will, or to any heirs under Florida inheritance laws.

Contact a Palm Harbor Probate Attorney for Help

Many personal representatives are family members of the deceased with no formal legal training or experience in probate matters. If you find yourself in this position, it will make things go a lot easier if you work with a skilled Palm Harbor probate attorney who can assist you in handling your responsibilities. So if you would like to speak with a lawyer with nearly four decades of experience in working with Florida probate matters, call attorney William Rambaum today at 727-781-5357 to schedule an appointment.

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