Stephen Bilkis
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Probate and Trust Administration

A Florida probate and trust administration attorney can help you to walk through all of the various tasks that must be accomplished when someone passes away and when you are set to serve as the probate or trust administrator. The personal representative appointed to a case in Florida is responsible for managing a broad range of duties after a person passes away.

It is important that the person appointed with Florida probate and trust administration be knowledgeable about the benefits of hiring an attorney as well as the level of liability to which he or she may be exposed. Consulting directly with a lawyer can help to tick off all of the necessary boxes about the tasks that must be completed. A legal support role can be provided by a Florida trust and probate administration attorney. If the personal representative feels fully competent in handling the vast majority of these tasks, then the attorney will serve in a support role. However, if the personal representative does not have the interest, time or the comfort level to handle these tasks, an experienced probate and trusts administration attorney in Florida can help while keeping the personal representative informed about all of the crucial decisions. If the person who died had a Florida trust that was appropriately funded and drafted, probate is typically not required.

A trust is not a will but it is a private document that does not need to be filed in probate court. However, the successor trustee is required to administer the trust. This includes gathering and investing the assets of the trust maker, informing and contacting the beneficiaries, paying any debts, notifying any possible creditors, filing and paying taxes, and giving the beneficiaries the assets or income due to them in a strict accordance with the trust's provisions.

Probate is often difficult for people to figure out, especially if there are any conflicts or contests that emerge after probate is begun. Hiring the right lawyer to guide you through every phase and answer your questions is key. You may be able to avoid problems and costs if you get help.

A trust and probate administration lawyer in Florida can help the successor trustee handle a trust administration in Florida. Every experienced attorney knows that successor trustees sometimes don’t have the knowledge, resources or time to appropriately administer the trusts. Successor trustees can call upon accounting, legal and investment advisors for help. Never acting hastily is a good guideline to follow when appointed to serve as a personal representative. Trust attorneys in Florida have learned that failure must adhere to the exact terms of the trust and the trustees could face charges of breach of fiduciary duty.

It is also recommended that the personal representatives have all releases and distribution receipts and note when they are made and follows all instructions so that once the directed distributions are done, the remaining trust distribution and administration can be handled without difficulty. It is often hard for someone to step into this situation without appropriate knowledge of trusts and probate administration. However, hiring an attorney who has practiced in this field for many years can give you a great deal of peace of mind and support during an otherwise challenging time. Following all of the necessary details and remaining in compliance with the trust is important for someone who has been appointed as a personal representative because making a mistake could lead to a lawsuit and other challenges down the road. Finding an attorney who cares about you and how you handle this situation is important.