Moran & Associates is a probate law firm in Palm Beach, Florida that can help your family through the probate process. If you have recently lost a loved one, this might be one of the most challenging times for you and your family.
In addition to planning a funeral and dealing with grief, you may need to take your loved one’s will to court to undergo probate. And if your loved one left no will, you will also need to take the estate through probate under the laws of intestacy.
Probate is the process by which a deceased person’s will is authenticated, and the process by which a person’s assets are appraised, debts and final bills are paid, and assets are passed on to beneficiaries.
If your loved one recently passed away and you have been named executor of your loved one’s estate and have questions about the probate process, reach out to Moran & Associates. Our probate lawyers in Palm Beach, Florida are here for you. We can help you every step of the way.
Types of Probate in Florida
Every state has its unique probate process. In Florida, there are two main types of probate: formal administration and summary administration determined by the value of the property that needs to go through probate and the amount of time the decedent passed away. The probate process is started with a filing with the clerk of the circuit court. During the process, beneficiaries of the estate need to be identified, creditors need to be notified, debts need to be paid, taxes need to be paid, and assets need to be distributed to the beneficiaries.
Summary administration is another type of probate process. This process can often be faster than the regular probate process, or formal administration. Summary administration may be possible if the person died more than two years ago or if the person’s property value doesn’t exceed $75,000.
Formal administration is the process that is followed for all other types of estates. This process requires formal notifications, validation of the will, and plans for distributing assets and satisfying all debts. Each of these probate processes require that formal procedures be followed. If the deceased left no will, then probate will need to establish which assets the deceased left behind, determine which debts remain outstanding, and use Florida’s intestate laws to determine how assets will be distributed.
The Palm Beach, Florida probate lawyer at Moran & Associates can assist you with the probate process whether you need formal administration or summary administration of your loved one’s estate. Our probate attorneys can review your unique circumstances and situation, and help you identify which probate process is right for you. If your loved one had property in other states, or real estate in other states, you may need to go through the probate process in each state where your deceased loved one had assets. Some probate processes can be quite simple, and a probate lawyer in Palm Beach, Florida can oversee the process and ensure that all requirements are met, and that probate is handled in a timely and stress-free manner. Some probate processes can be highly complex and may require careful review by a Palm Beach, Florida probate lawyer.
Probate is primarily designed to ensure that the estate’s debts are paid and that taxes are paid in an organized manner. Ultimately it is the executor’s responsibility to notify creditors that the deceased person has passed away. The probate process also gives creditors a chance to come forward and make claims upon the estate. Before the distribution of the estate’s property can occur, debts must be satisfied and taxes must be paid.
Your Responsibilities as an Executor in Palm Beach, Florida
What are some of the responsibilities that the executor must perform during the probate process? According to the Florida Bar, these responsibilities include: publishing a notice to creditors in the newspaper informing creditors about the death so that they have time to file any claim on the estate as required by law, attempt to identify any creditors the estate might have using good faith efforts, and make objections to any illegal or improper claims made by persons seeking to pursue lawsuits against the estate. The executor is required to pay any valid claims, file tax returns, pay outstanding taxes due, and distribute assets to beneficiaries.
The probate process can sometimes be complex and overwhelming, especially for families going through one of the most challenging times in their lives. If you are struggling or overwhelmed, you don’t need to navigate the probate process alone. Moran & Associates is a probate law firm in Palm Beach, Florida that can assist you with navigating each step of the probate process.
Can I Avoid Probate in Palm Beach, Florida?
While there are some estate planning tools that might be able to help you avoid probate in Palm Beach, Florida, if your deceased loved one hasn’t put these tools in place before he or she passed away, you will not likely be able to avoid probate. If your loved one established a trust, then property and assets in the trust may be passed to beneficiaries outside the probate process. Yet, even when individuals use trusts to avoid probate, there may be other assets that may still need to go through probate, and the laws for probate can vary from state to state if your loved one has assets in multiple states. If your loved one didn’t have many assets or debts, the probate process may not be too complicated at all.
If you have questions about avoiding probate if you are planning your estate or have questions about probate if a loved one has passed away, you don’t have to navigate these questions or challenges alone. The Palm Beach, Florida probate lawyer at Moran & Associates: Attorneys at Law is here to help. Whether you need help with estate planning instruments to help your family avoid a complex probate process or are an executor with questions about how the probate process works, Moran & Associates: Attorneys at Law is an estate planning lawyer here to help. Our probate attorney can help you file the necessary documents and take the steps needed so that your loved one’s estate can successfully pass through probate.
Difference Between Probate with a Will and Without a Will
The challenges you might face in the probate process will depend on whether or not your loved one left a will. If your loved one left a will, your Palm Beach, Florida probate lawyer at Moran & Associates: Attorneys at Law can guide you through the process of administering the estate in accordance with the will. The probate process can potentially become more complex if the will is challenged or contested in court. In this case, your probate lawyer in Palm Beach, Florida can assist you if you are facing probate litigation.
If there is no will, then the estate must be administered according to Florida’s intestate laws. How the estate will be administered and to whom, will depend on the surviving relatives. For example, under intestate laws in Florida, if you only have a spouse, but no children, your spouse will inherit your estate. If you have children, but no spouse, your children will inherit your estate. If you have a spouse and children, then the estate may be divided under intestate laws. If there is no will, there may also be no executor appointed. If you want to take on this role in your family, you may need to get other heirs to renounce their right to administer the estate before you proceed. If you would like to be the executor of your loved one’s estate, but there is no will, the Palm Beach, Florida probate lawyer at Moran & Associates: Attorney at Law may be able to help you with that process
Help with Probate in Palm Beach Florida
Do you need help with the probate process in Palm Beach, Florida? Has a loved one recently passed away and do you have questions about your rights and responsibilities when it comes to probate? Moran & Associates is a probate law firm in Palm Beach, Florida that can help you with the probate process.
Not all families need to go through probate. For example, if your loved one established a trust or if your loved one’s situation doesn’t require probate, your family may be able to avoid this process. If your loved one didn’t leave a will and you have questions about probate, Moran & Associates is a Palm Beach, Florida probate law firm that can help you every step of the way. Contact us today at 561-779-2029 to learn more.