This probate process is required for the court to authorize the transfer of the property to the theirs of the estate if there is a will. However, probate can occur with the existence of a will.
Our law office charges per hour to represent the personal representative with the probate process. The Florida Statutes state that legal fees of three percent (3%) of the estate with a value of no more than one million is reasonable. However, just like our law office, most probate attorneys charge per hour for their services and not based on a percentage of the value of the estate.
Once the personal representative has been appointed by the probate court, his or her initial duties can include the following tasks:
Initial Duties Tasks:
- Make or confirm funeral arrangements
- Secure the decedent’s residence (change the locks if decedent lived alone)
- Prepare an inventory of decedent’s property
- Obtain decedent’s personal belongings if in a nursing home or hospital
- Notify the landlord of decedent’s death if he or she lived alone
- Notify credit card companies of decedent’s death
- Cancel any lease agreements (i.e., automobile)
- Locate any life insurance policies
- Locate all asset and debt information
- Locate title to motor vehicles or boats
- Locate the names and contact information for next of kin
- Contact the Social Security Office
- Close all bank accounts and open them under the name of the personal representative on behalf of the decedent’s estate
- Locate safe-deposit box
We represent individuals with the following probate processes:
- Formal Estate Administration
- Summary Probate Administration
- Ancillary Probate Administration
- Will or Trust contest
- Probate litigation
Formal Estate Administration:
The formal estate administration of the decedent takes several months to complete as there are several tasks that must be completed before the personal representative can be discharged and the estate closed. The probate attorney will explain these steps to you during the initial consultation.
Summary administration is available in the following scenarios:
- The value of the decedent’s probate property does not exceed $75,000. This amount does not include exempt property of the Estate like homestead real property;
- If the decent has been dead for more than two years
Summary administration starts with the filing of a petition for summary administration with the probate court. The petition must include the list of the decedent’s property and assets, the value of each property, and the name of each beneficiary who is to receive each asset.
If the petition is approved by the Court, an order of summary administration will be entered. This order releases the decedent’s property to the beneficiaries. A personal representative is not required to serve for this process and the process can take about two months to be completed.
It is recommended that the following documents be brought to the initial meeting with the attorney:
- Original Last Will or Trust document
- Death certificate
- Deeds to all real property
- Statements from banks, brokerage accounts
- Title to vehicles
- Life insurance policies
- Funeral bills
- All of the decedent’s bills Tax returns for the last three years
If you are facing a Probate Process case, call for a consultation with Attorney Juan J. Mendoza.
Please contact our office with one of our attorneys
Riverview Corporate Center
27299 Riverview Center Blvd.
Bonita Springs, Florida 34134
Tel.: (239) 262-0427
Fax: (239) 262-0710
email: [email protected]uanmendoza.net