Florida Probate
Attorney Services

Work with a Florida probate attorney that brings true, hands-on experience and expertise to the table. For over 30 years, Walser & Herman Law Firm has exclusively concentrated on estate planning, probate, trust administration, and elder law. During this long tenure, our professional team has accrued invaluable knowledge to help you navigate every step of the probate and trust administration process.

Our experienced Palm Beach probate attorney and trust administration lawyers handle every case with compassionate insight and unparalleled legal guidance. We understand that your trust is your legacy, and we take every step to ensure benefits are distributed correctly.

Working With Your Boca Raton Probate Attorney

Step 1

Schedule Your Free Consultation Today

Walser & Herman Law Firm offers a free consultation so we can obtain the specific details regarding your case to begin the probate process.

Step 2

Draft and File Pleadings

Since all probate filings are completed electronically, everything can be handled virtually. Walser & Herman Law Firm also offers a convenient virtual Notary for any documents that may require a Notary signature.

Step 3

Open the Estate and Appointment as Personal Representative

Upon receipt of a case number and approval of all filed pleadings, we proceed with submitting the proposed Orders for judicial review ASAP.

Probate vs.
Trust Administration

The main difference between trust administration and probate is that trust administration is not a court-superviseed process, When a person dies, leaving a valid trust, a trust administration becomes necessary to carry out wishes according to provisions outlined in the trust document.

Probate

Probate is the legal process through which a deceased person’s estate is properly distributed to heirs and designated beneficiaries, in addition to any debt owed being paid off to creditors. In this case, a personal representative, usually a trusted family member or a close friend, is in charge of administering an estate.

Also called an executor in many states, the personal representative is tasked with numerous duties to ultimately transfer property from the decedent’s estate to the heirs. In addition the personal representative must make sure that taxes and creditors are paid before assets are distributed to beneficiaries.

Florida Probate Administration

Also called an executor in many states, the personal representative is tasked with numerous duties to ultimately transfer property from the decedent’s estate to the heirs. In addition the personal representative must make sure that taxes and creditors are paid before assets are distributed to beneficiaries.

Probate

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The Duties of a Personal Representative

The duties you undertake as a personal representative include:

  • Opening the estate upon appointment by the court
  • Gathering and valuing your loved one’s assets
  • Filing an inventory of assets
  • Publishing notice to creditors of your loved one’s death
  • Paying viable debts owed by your loved one
  • Filing your loved one’s final tax return
  • Paying state and federal taxes, including estate taxes
  • Closing accounts, such as Social Security, health insurance and phone service
  • Distributing remaining property according to the will’s provisions
  • Closing the estate

Types of Probate Administration

Estates may be administered through a variety of processes, depending upon specific factors. Your loved one’s estate may be probated through:

  • Formal Administration
    Most estates require formal administration, which involves close supervision by the probate court during each phase. Even if not necessary, you may choose formal administration under certain circumstances.
  • Summary Administration
    The estate may be eligible for this expedited form of probate if the estate is worth $75,000 or less and debts are already paid off. However, the summary process imposes liability on heirs for up to two years from the date of the decedent’s death.
  • Ancillary Administration
    An estate being administered in another state, but that includes property in Florida is subject to ancillary administration to properly deal with the Florida assets.
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Trust Administration

Your loved one may also have created an inter-vivos trust during her or his lifetime or a testamentary trust through their will. The person or institution named as trustee is responsible for administering this document.  We help you to effectively carry out your duties as a personal representative or trustee.

The main difference between trust administration and probate is that trust administration is not a court-supervised process.  When a person dies, leaving a valid trust, a trust administration becomes necessary to carry out the wishes according to provisions outlined in the trust document.

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The Duties of a Trustee

Our experienced Florida trust attorney team provides legal guidance to successor trustees who must administer an estate. Probate is generally not required if the decedent had a properly drafted and funded trust. Nonetheless, the successor trustee must take certain steps to administer the trust.

These steps include:

  • Contacting beneficiaries and keeping them informed
  • Gathering and investing the trust-maker’s assets
  • Notifying potential creditors
  • Paying debts
  • Filing tax returns; and,
  • Distributing assets and/or income to beneficiaries in conformity with the trust’s provisions

Learn More About Probate and Trust Administration from Our Florida Probate Attorneys

Walser & Herman Law Firm can help you open an estate in any of the 67 counties located in Florida. Call our Florida probate attorneys at 561.750.1040 or send us an email to schedule a consultation to discuss your options to proceed with your loved ones probate administration.

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Call us (561) 750-1040

Our Team

Our experienced attorneys will assist executors and successor trustees who lack the time, resources, or knowledge to personally deal with the complexities of probate administration and trust administration. Contact us today at 561.750.1040 for more information.

Thomas C. Walser, JD, LLM
Partner/Attorney
Christa W. Herman, Esq.
Partner/Attorney
Jay L. Kauffman, Esq.
Of Counsel
Bettee M. Collister, Esq.
Of Counsel