Probate and Trust Administration
Florida Probate law is a specialized practice area involving the administration and transfer of assets according to a person’s Last Will and Testament, or, in the absence of a Will, under Florida’s intestate laws of descent and distribution. At SmithLaw, we have experience with the Florida probate laws and the associated court rules. Christopher Smith is a Florida probate attorney who can put his experience to work for you.
Trust administration involves the management and processing of a trust, usually following the trustor's death or incapacity. There are numerous similarities between a probate and a trust administration, but trust administrations are usually faster, cheaper, and more private. These administrations involve paying the debts of the decedent (including taxes) and handling/distributing the assets to ensure that the wishes of the trustor are fulfilled.
In the event of a death, Florida probate lawyers must assist with the administration of the estate. For trusts, attorneys are not required, but they are still a good idea. We handle all aspects of the administration of an estate and trust, including:
Notifying and satisfying creditors
Implementing procedures to avoid a will or trust contest or other legal action
Protecting the estate’s or trust's assets
Evaluating strategies to minimize estate taxes
Preparing and filing tax returns
Distributing assets and communicating with beneficiaries and/or heirs
Preparing the final accounting and releases/waivers to protect the personal representative or trustee
Sometimes lawsuits may arise as a result of actions taken by someone close to the deceased. This usually occurs because it is claimed that the decedent did not have the mental capacity to sign a Last Will and Testament or Trust, or that someone exerted undue influence over the testator or trustor, or that the will/trust was not signed and/or witnessed according to Florida law. We can help with these lawsuits as well.
Whether it is helping you with the distribution of an estate or trust, or disputing a will, SmithLaw can help. Please call us now for a free consultation.