BETTEN, MURPHY & WEISS
Brevard's Elder Law Firm
Probate is the Court supervised process of collecting the decedent's assets (marshalling), paying any creditor's claims (debts) and distributing assets as directed. Probate is a legal procedure for transfering title of a decedent's assets to the beneficiaries named in the Will or under Intestate Succession.
Any property registered in a single name is subject to probate.
Probate generally takes six months but can be much longer if the Estate is taxable or any litigation is involved. There is a four month creditor's claim period. This four month period should always be honored or the personal representative could be liable.
If the probate involves any out of state property this requires an ancillary probate in that other state. This normally prolongs the process.
Probate can involve many costs including court costs, personal representative fees, accountant fees, appraisal fees, administrative expenses and attorney fees. These costs vary depending on how much time is involved, the kindof property and the location of property.
Probates generally cost six percent of the Estate when between $100,000 and $999,999. The Personal Representative, if the will does not direct otherwise, is entitled to 3%. Attorney Fees are 3%. There is a sliding scale approved by the Florida Supreme Court as to attorney fees.
A Personal Representative is the individual who will handle your estate when you die. The Personal Representative is responsible for collecting (marshalling) assets, paying creditors, distributing the assets and any other duties as set forth in the Will.
Elder law is a relatively new area of the law which focuses on a variety of legal issues which face the elderly and which interact with one another. Some of these areas are Medicaid, nursing home regulations, estate planning, insurance coverages and elder abuse.
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