Experienced Probate Attorneys Serving the Citizens of Destin, FL
Managing a Florida probate estate with many different assets and beneficiaries or heirs can be very overwhelming. Many think the probate process is simple and they can handle the legality of it on their own. However, the process can be strenuous and involve more than an executor or personal representative can take. Therefore an experienced Destin probate lawyer can provide legal assistance and is highly advisable.
You have a legal duty as an executor over the estate to administer the will and its assets in a timely manner. If certain steps are missed, you can be financially penalized under specific circumstances. You hold a lot of responsibility on your head as you proceed to take over for your deceased loved one. The attorneys at Moorhead Law Group have been helping clients for years and possess the legal know-how to help you get through all the loops and holes you may come across regarding the probate process in Destin.
The Responsibilities of a Personal Representative
Managing and overseeing the entire probate process becomes the responsibility of the executor over the estate. This includes the marshaling of all probate assets, appraisal of probate assets, obtaining court approval for certain items prior to beginning the process, notifying creditors of the probate administration, filing the decedent’s final income tax returns, filing estate tax returns, and presenting documentation of all assets and expenses. When you act as the representative over the assigned estate, you are essentially like a business owner who writes checks, making sure money is going to the people it needs to.
Here are a few of the duties of a personal representative:
- Gathering all the deceased person’s assets, including bank accounts and real estate properties. Also taking into account the debts, claims, and bills from the deceased as well.
- Locating any entities to which the deceased person still owes money. You would need to publish a notice that requires creditors to file a claim against the estate. There is probably contact information to other creditors who will need to be advised of their right to file a claim.
- Validate the creditor’s claims. If they are valid, you will have to pay them and this can be done usually by using the estate if there are enough liquid assets to cover the debt. If the claims are false, object to it, and defend the estate in court.
- File a tax return at the time of the decedent’s death that is the most recent.
- Last would be the process of paying off the beneficiaries and heirs who are listed on the will or entitled to the distributions of the estate.
What is probate or non-probate?
The main difference between probate and non-probate is non-probate includes property that is held as joint tenants with a right of survivorship and also includes assets that are beneficiary designations like life insurance policies, IRA’s with a POD (Pay on Death), stocks, bonds, and securities with the Transfer of Death provisions. Trust property is also non-probate which includes assets placed in a living trust. If you have questions regarding whether your deceased’s estate needs to go through probate or not, one of our Destin probate lawyers can help you.
A Destin probate lawyer will easily guide you through the probate process
Losing a loved one is hard enough, then to have to deal with the deceased’s estate and debts can push you over the top. Moorhead Law Group has helped its clients through the legal probate process with ease and our attorney provides the advice that will keep your head afloat while swimming through the many obligations an executor of an estate account encounters. Contact us today, and we will be here to assist you all the way to the end.