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Probate



Most clients come to us with one major goal in mind… to avoid Probate.  They have heard through the grapevine that Probate “takes forever” and “the Government takes all the money.”  But most clients, unless having gone through a Florida Probate before, have very little understanding of what Probate actually entails. 


Probate is a Court proceeding that is sometimes triggered when a person passes away.  Proper planning can reduce or even eliminate the need for a Probate proceeding, and it is our goal to inform and prepare each client for the likely result in that client’s specific situation.  There are different forms of Probate in Florida, ranging from the quick and relatively simple, to the long and relatively involved.  All forms of Probate share the common elements of protecting the interests of the Estate beneficiaries or heirs, as well as any creditors of the decedent.


The timeframe of a Probate is determined by several factors.  An abbreviated form of Probate (a Summary Administration) can be used under narrow circumstances, and is a much quicker and less expensive process.  A Formal Administration, in which a Personal Representative (otherwise known as an Executor) is named, is a more structured, time consuming process, and can also become quite costly.  In either type of Probate, it is generally not the Government or Court that “takes all the money”, the most consequential costs of Probate are usually Attorneys’ fees as a result of Florida law requiring that an Attorney represent the Personal Representative or Petitioner of the Estate (maybe that’s why no one likes lawyers?).   


After considering the family circumstances, assets, debts, and goals of a client, we can establish a plan designed to best fit the client’s situation.  There are times when a client decides that a full and complete Probate proceeding will be the proper choice for his or her situation, but more often our plan should address all concerns, and hopefully eliminate or reduce in complexity the client’s Probate Estate.


 


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Orlando Office

The Heaven Building
8240 Exchange Drive
Suite C6
Orlando, Florida 32809
Phone (407) 850-2500
Fax (407) 850-2580
Directions

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