Tampa Full Administration Attorney
Full probate administration (called formal probate administration) is required when the deceased person has been dead for less than two years and their assets are worth more than $75,000. Even when someone dies and they have a will, the will must be proven in court, and there are often questions (and sometimes conflicts) that arise during the probate process. For individuals who pass away and do not have a will, their property will be distributed according to Florida’s intestate statutes, but their estate still must go through the probate process. Here at the Strategic Counsel Law Group, L.C., our Tampa full administration attorney assist clients with the many tasks that come with administering an estate, including locating assets, notifying creditors, paying taxes and creditors from the estate assets, distributing assets to the appropriate people, and more.
The Personal Representative/Executor
Probate administration is overseen by the decedent’s personal representative or executor—usually the decedent’s adult child/grandchild. This person is either named in a will, or appointed by the court. The job of personal representative requires extensive legal and financial knowledge, as well as time. Probate can take up to a year in many cases, and the personal representative has a fiduciary duty to the estate, meaning any mistakes they make can lead to civil action against them. As such, it is highly advisable for the personal representative/executor to work with a probate administration attorney throughout the entire probate process. As the estate administrator, you have a right to compensate yourself for the time you spend administering the estate.
How Probate Administration Works
During probate administration, the following tasks must be completed:
- Locating and collecting all estate assets (including bank accounts, vehicles, real estate, stocks and bonds, retirement accounts, etc.)
- Managing those assets (including making investment decisions) during probate administration
- Paying mortgages, bills, and other expenses incurred by the estate
- Notifying creditors that the decedent passed away
- Determining which creditors must be paid (it may not be necessary to pay off all debts) and then paying them
- Paying any potential estate taxes
- Distributing assets to beneficiaries
While most formal probate administration processes go smoothly, a lot can go wrong. Conflicts can arise between beneficiaries about the distribution of assets; heirs may claim wrongdoing on the part of the personal representative, creditors may make expensive claims, or the executor may make serious errors such as breach of fiduciary duty or paying out beneficiaries too soon. These and other mistakes can be avoided by working with an attorney from day one.
Call a Tampa Full Administration Attorney Today
Probate administration is a complex process, and the personal representative’s job is not an easy one. It is always advisable to consult with a knowledgeable, experienced Tampa full administration attorney before you or another party takes this job on. The probate process will surely go more according to plan with legal counsel than without. We urge you to call the Strategic Counsel Law Group, L.C. today at 813-286-1700 to schedule a free consultation.