Estate Administration

Estate Administration

Estate Administration

Estate Administration

Estate Administration

Estate Administration

Probate Administration

When a person dies owning property in their names only, and they have not set up a revocable living trust, the title or ownership of their property must be transferred to another person or persons. If they die with a will (i.e., “testate“), the property must be transferred to their beneficiaries named in the will.

If they die without a will (i.e., “intestate“), the property must be transferred to their heirs at law, which are designated by statute and are usually their closest family members. In either case, only a court can authorize these transfers of property ownership. That court is called the probate court.

The process by which you apply to the probate court to transfer the property is commonly known as “probate.” If there is a will, the will is submitted to the court so that it can determine if it is a valid will, whether it has been superseded by a later will, etc.

The court appoints a personal representative (or “executor“), who is named by the deceased in the will, to handle the administering of the deceased’s “estate,” which refers to all the property the deceased owned at death in their name only. Administration includes taking an inventory of the decedent’s property, and filing various public notices of the probate proceedings to reach anyone who has a claim against the estate or who objects to the will.

If there is no will, the court also appoints a personal representative (or “administrator“) to handle the estate. If the court appoints a personal representative due to there being no will, that appointment is often contested among several family members.

We represent personal representatives of probate estates in Florida, and assist them in commencing the probate case, filing the necessary public notices and inventories of estate assets, and arranging for the final distribution of estate assets. Because every estate is different, our legal fee depends on the extent and complexity of the particular probate case, so we normally undertake probate administration on an hourly-fee basis, rather than for a fixed fee. Our hourly rate is $250.00. We require an initial deposit of $4,500, and and we bill the client on a monthly basis during the course of the probate case from that deposit account. Personal representatives find it very efficient and convenient to use our Virtual Law Office feature, which permits the secure and confidential exchange of estate documentation during the probate case.

Florida Probate System
Below is an overview of the three ways to settle an estate in Florida, from the simplest and least expensive to the most complicated and costly.

A note about wills: Whether or not probate will be necessary, Florida law requires that anyone who has possession of a will must file it with the local circuit court within 10 days of learning of the death. If a probate court proceeding is necessary, the court will determine whether or not the will is valid.

Step 1: The Probate Profile Program

Our Probate Profile Program begins with a comprehensive review of your case during an initial consultation. Whether you are nominated as the personal representative or need to transfer assets without a will, this step ensures we fully understand the specifics of the estate and can provide tailored guidance. Schedule your free initial meeting and complete our questionnaire to get started.

Step 2: The Estate Filing Formula

The Estate Filing Formula involves filing all required probate documents and notifying relevant parties. We handle the submission of the will, if applicable, and ensure all legal requirements are met. This step includes public notices to reach any claimants or objectors, setting the stage for a smooth probate process.

Step 3: The Asset Inventory Method

With the Asset Inventory Method, we meticulously take inventory of the estate’s assets and obtain necessary appraisals. This comprehensive documentation is crucial for the accurate valuation and management of the estate, ensuring that all assets are accounted for and properly recorded.

Step 4: The Liability Resolution System

The Liability Resolution System addresses all outstanding debts and taxes owed by the estate. We work diligently to identify, manage, and resolve these obligations, ensuring a clear path for asset distribution and minimizing any potential legal complications.

Step 5: The Beneficiary Distribution Process

The Beneficiary Distribution Process is the final step, where we assist in the distribution of the estate’s assets to the beneficiaries according to the will, trust, or state law. Our goal is to handle this process efficiently and fairly, providing closure and peace of mind to all involved parties.

Get Started with Probate Administration

Click the “Make an Appointment” button to schedule a meeting with a probate attorney in Naples. Whether you’re nominated as the personal representative in a loved one’s will, or need to transfer assets without a will, your first meeting is free of charge. Please complete and return the questionnaire before your meeting. During this initial consultation, we’ll provide an overview of the probate process, explain our services, and discuss our fee structure based on the complexity of your case. Let Goodwin Law, P.A. assist you with your probate matter anywhere in the state of Florida.

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