Category Archives: Estate And Probate Administration
Does It Matter if My Personal Representative Lives in Florida?
One of the most important estate planning decisions that you will make is naming a personal representative (executor) in your last will and testament. Many people choose to name a spouse, child, or family member to serve as personal representative. But what if the person you name does not actually live in Florida? Does… Read More »
Will Your Family Be Allowed to Access Your Apartment After You Die?
When a person dies, there are a number of legal and logistical issues that need to be addressed. For instance, if the deceased was renting their home, someone may need to gain access to the property to recover certain personal items, or even legal documents such as a will. Unfortunately, family members often discover… Read More »
What Is an Estate Accounting?
One of the critical tasks for a personal representative administering a Florida probate estate is to prepare a final accounting. Typically, the personal representative must file this accounting with 12 months of the formal opening of the state. In addition to filing the final accounting with the court, the personal representative must also provide… Read More »
Can a Deceased Person File a Lawsuit in Florida?
One area of estate and probate administration that often confuses people is the status of any lawsuits–or potential lawsuits–involving the deceased individual. To set the record straight, a dead person cannot sue in Florida courts. But that does not mean that any lawsuit pending at the time of the person’s death goes away, or… Read More »
Florida Courts Divided Over Homestead Exemptions for Co-Ops
Florida provides a generous homestead exemption for its residents. This exemption means that most creditors cannot force the sale of a person’s primary residence in order to satisfy a debt. The homestead exemption also imposes certain restrictions on the “descent and devise” of a primary residence via a will or trust. Judges Ask Supreme… Read More »
Is a Florida Estate Required to Pay Final Medical Expenses Without Proper Documentation?
It is not uncommon for a person to die leaving several outstanding bills or debts, including their final medical expenses. One of the key tasks of probate administration is to ensure any valid debts are paid using the available resources of the decedent’s estate. Of course, the personal representative is not required to pay… Read More »
Florida Supreme Court Approves Technical Amendments to Probate Rules
The Florida Supreme Court recently approved some technical amendments to the rules governing probate proceedings in the state. While these amendments do not significantly alter existing law, they provide a good opportunity to explain the basics of filing a petition for administration–i.e., the first step in seeking opening a formal probate estate after someone… Read More »
Understanding the Limits of a Revocable Trust in Florida
Revocable trusts are commonly used in Florida estate planning to help streamline the probate process. Assets you put into such a trust are not considered part of your probate estate. This means that after you die, your trust can distribute these assets to your beneficiaries without going through the formalities of a court-supervised probate…. Read More »
What Does It Mean to “Escheat” a Florida Estate?
There are a number of confusing legal terms surrounding estate and probate administration in Florida. One such term you may have come across is “escheat.” What does this word mean? And how could it affect your own estate, or even the estate of a family member who recently died? The word “escheat” actually dates… Read More »
Can Your Estate File for Bankruptcy After You Die?
Many Florida residents will pass away leaving behind some amount of debt. In some cases, the debts may exceed the deceased person’s assets. You might wonder how the law deals with such scenarios. For instance, could the executor of an insolvent estate file for bankruptcy protection? The short answer to this question is “no.”… Read More »