Probate is a court-supervised legal process, through which the assets of a deceased person are identified and distributed to the heirs or beneficiaries under a will or, if there is no will, pursuant to Florida probate law. A will typically appoints a personal representative to administer the estate. If the deceased left no will and there are assets to be probated, the estate of the decedent must be distributed pursuant to probate law.
Generally, the decedent’s assets are identified and gathered and they are first used to pay the costs of probate proceedings, then to pay the decedent’s debts, and the remainder is distributed to the decedent’s beneficiaries.
There are two types of probate proceedings in Florida:
1. A “Formal Administration” is filed when there are assets exceeding $ 75,000 and/or when it is necessary to appoint a representative to administer the estate.
2. A “Summary Administration” is filed when the value of the entire estate subject to probate administration does not exceed $ 75,000 and the appointment of a personal representative is not necessary.
There is also a non-court supervised administration proceeding called “Disposition of Personal Property Without Administration”. This type of probate administration applies only to limited circumstances and may be filed via informal petition to request release of the decedent’s assets to reimburse the person who paid the final expenses such as e.g. funeral costs, medical bills etc.
Probate proceedings may be lengthy and very expensive. The duration of legal proceedings depends on many factors but in general it may take from a few months up to a few years to administer one’s estate. During this time the decedent’s assets remain “locked” in the court proceedings and unavailable to heirs and/or beneficiaries. The typical costs of probate proceedings may be as high as several percent of the estate’s value. Moreover, probate proceedings are public record, which means there is no privacy assured when your estate goes through probate. Therefore, it is important to plan ahead in order to avoid probate whenever possible.
Attorney Agnieszka “Aga” Piasecka graduated from Law School in Poland and the United States and speaks fluent Polish, English and Italian. Aga Piasecka, Esq. obtained her Juris Doctorate Cum Laude from Stetson University College of Law in Florida and her Masters Degree in Law with Honors from Jagiellonian University in Poland. She also studied International Law in Holland and worked in Italy where she learned to speak Italian fluently. Attorney Aga Piasecka is a licensed attorney / lawyer in Florida and in Poland with more than 15 years of legal experience and two Law Degrees. She is fluent in Polish, English and Italian and can assist you with all of your legal needs in Florida and Poland.
Attorney Aga Piasecka's Law Office is conveniently located at: 13575 58th Street North, Clearwater, Florida 33760 near the St. Petersburg - Clearwater International Airport, Tampa International Airport and the cities of Clearwater Beach, Tampa, Saint Petersburg, St Pete Beach, New Port Richey, Port Richey, Sarasota and Bradenton, Florida.
For a FREE consultation in English, Polish or Italian please call: 727-538-3911 or 813-786-3911
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