When someone passes away, all of their possessions become a part of their estate. Estate administration becomes an important issue. Estate administration involves the process of collecting the estate and also managing it. The heir of the estate will be in charge of paying off any debts and taxes, along with distributing the remaining property. The heir of the estate is determined through a will. If the deceased person did not make a will, the intestacy laws will determine the future of the estate. Here is an in-depth look at the process of Estate administration.
Three Common Processes
In Florida, there are three basic ways to administer an estate. There is the option of no probate. This involves a deposition without administration. This type of administration is for people who did not leave any assets behind after they died. All of the funeral expenses and medical expenses related to the illness will be reimbursed from the assets of the estate. Probate is not necessary for people whose assets don’t exceed the total amount of final expenses.
Another option is formal administration. Formal administration occurs when an estate does not qualify for other means of administration. During Formal administration, the executor may ask the court to be appointed as the primary representative of the estate. The case would take place in the county where the deceased lived at the time of their death. Any heirs or beneficiaries have the right to challenge the person named as the representative. The courts will send out letters that give the personal representative the power to settle the estate in question. During the court proceedings, there may be questions involving the validity of the will. Once the personal representative has received clearance from the court, they can take control of the estate. A final account must be submitted to the court outlining how the assets have been managed, as well as the plan for distributing them. If there are any objections, the personal representative may be stripped of their power.
The third option involves Summary administration. Summary administration has been used to sort out the future of multiple Florida estates in recent years. The executor must file paperwork. If the deceased person had a spouse, they must sign the paperwork. The paperwork known as a petition for Summary administration should express that based on Florida laws, the estate is eligible for Summary administration. The paperwork will list all of the deceased’s assets and their value, along with the mandate of who should receive the assets. During this option, the court will issue an order that released the property to its heirs.
Assets That Are Off Limits
Jointly held property does not have to go through the court system. Any joint bank accounts, vehicles, and homes are also off limits. Any assets that are held in a living trust are off limits.
Creating A Will
If you have already created a will, that allows you to avoid stressing out later. However, the majority of citizens in the United States have not created a will. There are multiple benefits to creating a will. Having a will helps reduce any taxes and fees associated with the disposition of estate assets. Research has shown that having a will can reduce the level of stress among survivors, lessening the burden on them as they deal with grief.
For more information on Florida estate administration feel free to reach out to experts at UpChurch Law (www.upchurchlaw.com) in Daytona Beach. They can speak with you in detail about any issues you’re facing.