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Where is the Beneficiary?

Upon a person’s death, his or her assets will pass ownership to those stated in the will, or to his or her descendants if a will does not exist. Part of this process includes locating the beneficiary, but there are times when that person cannot easily be found. Help can be provided through an heir […]

Durable Financial Power of Attorney

As we have discussed in previous articles, there are many steps that you can and should take in planning for your estate. One important item to have in place is a durable power of attorney for your finances. This is a way to arrange for another individual to manage your finances in the event that […]

Can You Contest a Will in Florida?

Upon the death of an individual, his or her estate must be settled. This means resolving all claims and distributing the deceased person’s property either with a will or without one. However, when a will is involved, there may be a difference of opinion as to its validity. This refers to a will contest. It […]

The Possibility of a Pet Trust

There are many items to consider when planning your estate. For instance, your home, funeral expenses, and the distribution of personal items. However, many people often forget to consider their pets in the planning process. A recent study found that more than three in five Americans (62%) have at least one pet in their household. […]

Trust Administration – What is it?

Trust administration is a process that a trusted individual (successor trustee) named by the decedent undergoes in order to distribute the assets contained in the trust according to the wishes of the person who created the trust (the deceased settlor). Generally speaking, trust administration involves numerous steps which must be undertaken to ensure that all parties involved are treated fairly. […]

Death Certificates and Same Sex Couples

Death Certificates and Same Sex Couples   After a death occurs, a death certificate may be requested from the Florida Department of Health.  The certificate contains items concerning the decedent such as name, date of birth, cause of death, and surviving spouse, if any. A death certificate is one of the most important parts of […]

Do I Need A Living Trust?

  Creating a Living Trust In a previous article, we discussed different ways to settle an estate under Florida law, such as going through probate court with either summary or formal administration. Another option highlighted was to bypass probate court by creating a living trust. Here, we will delve a bit deeper into this process. […]

Florida Probate System

Florida Probate System Probate is the first step in the legal process of administering the estate of a deceased person, resolving all claims and distributing the deceased person’s property either under a will or without one. Under Florida law, there are two ways to settle an estate: Summary Administration and Formal Administration. This article will […]

Florida Probate

What is probate? Probate is a court supervised process that involves (1) identifying and gathering the assets of the decedent, (2) paying any debts of the decedent’s estate – creditors with claims against the decedent are allowed to present those claims for payment, and (3) facilitating the distribution of the decedent’s assets to the appropriate […]