The process that occurs after someone passes away might include probate and/or trust administration.
There’s always something that needs to be done. There are essentially three over-arching steps.
First, make an inventory of the deceased’s property.
Second, pay the required taxes (if any) and settle outstanding debts.
Third (and most important) is to distribute the remaining money and possessions among those entitled to receive the balance of the estate, generally family members (including pets) or other individuals listed in the deceased’s estate plan.
Distributions will generally be made outright or in a continuing trust.
This process, called probate and/or estate administration, can be relatively simple or incredibly complex depending on how organized the deceased was.
An experienced Florida trusts and estates attorney can help you handle the affairs of your loved one after they pass away.
Administering an estate in the Sunshine State
As Americans age, many of them move to Florida to exchange harsh winters and high rents for sunny skies and a lower cost of living.
In addition to these well-known benefits, Florida has no state income tax or inheritance tax.
This can mean big tax savings compared to residents of other states.
To reap the maximum amount of benefits from a relative’s estate while maintaining a low-stress environment following the death of a loved one, it is advisable to hire a Florida trusts and estates lawyer.
A knowledgeable attorney can help avoid disagreements between beneficiaries and ensure compliance with state and federal law.
Hiring a trusts and estates attorney in Florida
In the past, people were advised that probate was a “four letter word” and something to be avoided.
This was partly due to a misconception that attorneys’ fees were disproportionately expensive in comparison to one’s inheritance or that the state would “take” the deceased’s assets.
In Florida, neither of these are true.
However, by hiring an attorney to administer an estate or probate a will, you can avoid future friction with fellow beneficiaries like your siblings or other family members by adhering to applicable laws.
Without involving an attorney right away, you could open yourself up to legal troubles between family members in years to come, which could end up costing more than the initial attorney’s fees.
Contact a reputable Florida estate planning firm today
When you are dealing with the loss of a loved one, confusion over local laws, ordinances, and tax codes should be the last thing you are worried about.
Let the Law Offices of Hoyt & Bryan handle your legal questions about probate and estate administration so you can preserve your peace of mind.
We are prepared to address a wide variety of probate, trust, and estate planning issues from clients all across Florida.
Call (407) 977-8080 or contact us online to set up a consultation with today.