Getting Answers To Your Florida Probate Questions
The Florida probate process can be confounding. At Akin Law P.A., we are here to help. Husband and wife attorneys Sherrille and Dain have extensive Florida probate experience and can offer experienced guidance and support during this process.
Is a personal representative different from an executor?
In Florida, estate planning attorneys and courts typically prefer to use the term “personal representative” instead of executor or administrator, but these terms are similar and are often used interchangeably.
What does a personal representative do?
If you are named as the personal representative to the estate of a friend, family member or loved one, you have a legal obligation to administer the probate estate after that person dies. You are required to “act in good faith” and distribute the assets as per the will and by following Florida law. Because you will be in charge of bank accounts and other financial assets, your duty is called a “fiduciary duty.” You must not act in your own best interest but in the interest of the estate’s beneficiaries.
What is it called when someone dies and does not leave a will?
If a person left no will, then they are said to have died “intestate.” Florida has rules as to how that estate will be distributed. Without a will, the distribution of assets can become complex and sometimes contentious.
If a person does leave a will but, as a beneficiary, you do not believe the will is valid (or that the person who made the will was not of sound mind or under duress), you may wish to pursue a will contest.
This is why preparing a will now with an attorney is strongly advised.
Do I need an attorney if a family member’s estate needs to go through probate?
Typically, state law requires the assistance of an attorney for probate. In some cases where a person left little or no estate or when the personal representative is the only one inheriting assets, no probate may be required. It is wise to consult an attorney to ensure this is the case.
If you are a beneficiary and do not think the personal representative is managing the estate ethically or per the will, you may want to consult with an attorney to better understand your rights and options.
Get Answers To All Of Your Florida Probate Questions
With decades of experience navigating the Florida probate process, our attorneys want to help you understand the best way to move forward. We can answer your questions and provide guidance on forms, documentation and how to communicate with banks and other entities during this process. We are here to help. Call our team at 386-738-5599 or reach us by filling out our online contact form. We serve Florida probate clients in DeLand and throughout Volusia County.