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.