4 Steps To Take When Administering The Probate Estate In Florida
Probate estate administration is the process of distributing a decedent’s estate after their death. Administration of the probate estate is a complicated process, which is why Florida law usually requires the personal representative to hire a lawyer to help them follow all the rules and procedural requirements.
There are a number of steps to take when administering an estate and distributing the decedent’s property to their beneficiaries. Let’s review four essential steps for the administration of a probate estate in Florida.
If you need assistance with administering a probate estate in Florida, contact our St. Petersburg probate administration lawyers at Legacy Protection Lawyers, LLP, to talk about your case.
What to Do to Administer the Probate Estate in Florida
Probate might be necessary even if the decedent had a Last Will and Testament. The probate process involves a number of steps, but the most critical ones are:
- Hiring a probate administration lawyer. When administering a probate estate in Florida, a personal representative will most likely be required to hire a probate lawyer. If the estate is very small and/or the personal representative is the sole beneficiary, Florida law requires a personal representative to hire a probate administration lawyer. The lawyer will represent the personal representative, not the beneficiaries involved in the probate proceedings.
- Taking control of the decedent’s probate assets. When estate administration begins, the personal representative is required to identify all assets of the decedent that are subject to probate. The personal representative would make a list and take control of all the probate assets, including the decedent’s bank accounts, real estate, and life insurance policies unless the decedent designated a beneficiary. Not all of the decedent’s assets are probate assets. Some assets will not pass through probate. Any assets that are held in a Trust or have beneficiary designation avoid probate.
- Providing notice of estate administration proceedings. The third step is to provide notice of estate administration proceedings to all interested parties, including the decedent’s beneficiaries, creditors, and heirs. Specifically, Fla. Stat. § 733.2121 has strict rules for giving notice to creditors.
- Preparing an inventory. The personal representative is also responsible for preparing an inventory of the decedent’s assets for the final accounting, which must include the following details: a list of all estate assets, what distributions have been made, the cost of the probate, legal fees, out-of-pocket expenses, and all taxes and debts paid.
It is vital to contact a skilled attorney to help you prepare an inventory for the final accounting in probate estate administration. Once the final accounting is prepared, it will be submitted to the probate court and served upon interested parties. The final step is to distribute all the assets to the beneficiaries.
Speak with a St. Petersburg Probate Administration Lawyer
Schedule a case evaluation with our probate administration lawyers at Legacy Protection Lawyers, LLP, to discuss what steps you need to take when administering the probate estate. Call 727-471-5868 to receive a case evaluation.