Know What Your Rights and Responsibilities are in Probate Matters Arising in Coral Gables
Estate law is a complicated area of the law because if involves not only giving away property left in a will or through Florida law, but also tax law, real estate and sometimes litigation. If you are a personal representative of an estate or an heir of beneficiary, hiring a Coral Gables estate attorney is necessary in order to assist in making sure the estate is distributed properly and to protect rights.
In Florida, there are two types of estate – those with a will and those that are intestate. An intestate estate is an estate with no will or where the will has been found to be invalid. The property that passes through either type of estate is property that was only owned by the decedent and does not include assets such as life insurance policies or jointly held property or accounts. Usually, estates with a will are distributed according to what the will says while intestate property is distributed according to Florida law.
There are three ways that an estate can be taken care of in Coral Gables. The first with be distribution without administration, meaning that there is no probate. This happens when there are not enough assets to distribute for anything besides the decedent’s final expenses, such as funeral expenses and final medical expenses. There would be only a small fee and little paperwork.
Next would be summary probate. This simplified proceeding is used for distributing estates where the decedent died over two years ago or where the estate assets are valued at under $75,000. This proceeding has only minimal court involvement.
Next would be full probate, or formal administration. With this kind of estate, the value of the estate would most likely be more than $75,000.
Both of the types of probating the estate would involve the same types of duties by the personal representative after they are appointed. The most important duty would be to gather and distribute estate assets and to make sure all of the creditors are paid. In order to do this, the personal representative would have to publish a notice in a local paper while also doing a diligent search for any creditors. The creditors would have three months to make a claim against the estate. After all of the valid claims have been paid, then the remainder of the estate would go to the beneficiaries in an estate will a will or to the heirs in intestate estates.
There are many other duties that a personal representative has as well, meaning that having a Coral Gables estate attorney is very important. For example, transferring real property to an heir would take assistance in order to transfer the deed. Some estates are litigated, especially those where there is a question about the validity of the will or other types of will contests, such as those that surround undue influence and duress. Whether you are a beneficiary or the personal representative, you need skilled legal counsel on your side. Call the Law Offices of Albert Gurevich at (786) 522-1411.