Probate Administration

The estate planning attorneys at Hackleman, Olive & Judd handle all aspects of probate and trust administration. Our lawyers have extensive experience assisting clients in need of guidance and legal representation in connection with the settlement of an estate. We work closely with families and individuals to simplify the probate administration process and help ensure that a loved one’s assets are distributed in accordance with his or her last wishes.

Probate is the legal process of identifying the assets of a deceased person (decedent), paying off the decedent’s debts and obligations, and transferring any remaining assets to the decedent’s beneficiaries. If the decedent has a will, the will must be admitted to probate in court so that ownership of the assets can be properly passed to the decedent’s beneficiaries. When a decedent dies without a will (intestate) the probate process is used to distribute the decedent’s assets to the individuals who are entitled to receive them under Florida law.

Summary and Formal Administration

In the state of Florida there are two different types of court-supervised probate administration: summary administration and formal administration. There is also a non-court supervised proceeding called “Disposition of Personal Property without Administration” which only applies in limited circumstances. When the value of the decedent’s estate subject to administration is under $75,000 or the decedent has been dead for over two years, the estate will generally be eligible for summary administration. Summary administration is a streamlined process which is typically quicker and less complicated than formal probate administration. If an estate does not meet the requirements for summary administration, the estate will typically proceed through the formal probate administration process.

The Fort Lauderdale probate administration lawyers at Hackleman, Olive & Judd are intimately familiar with formal administration and summary administration. We have an extensive understanding of Florida probate rules and work to complete the probate process as quickly and efficiently as possible. Our lawyers guide clients through all steps of the process, assisting the personal representative in identifying and gathering assets, paying expenses, and distributing the decedent’s assets pursuant to the will or trust. Should a conflict or dispute arise in connection with the probate process, our attorneys advocate for our clients’ rights at all stages of the litigation process. We understand that our clients are dealing with emotional situations, and we are committed to do everything we can to help our clients through these difficult times.