When a loved one passes away, a probate proceeding must often be opened with the court in order for the assets of the estate to be managed and then distributed to the beneficiaries. Probate administration is a process controlled by statute. The length of time it takes to complete the probate process depends on the size and complexity of the estate, state statutes, and rules of the court. In Florida, if an estate is valued at less than $75,000 (excluding the homestead property), and if all creditors are known, a Summary Administration may be opened. If an estate is valued at more than $75,000 and/or unknown creditors exist, a Formal Administration will need to be opened with the court. As your Probate Law Firm, The Elder Law Center of Kirson and Fuller represents the Personal Representative, sometimes called the Executor, to meet his or her duties to the court and to the beneficiaries. We efficiently help our clients navigate the probate process, while remaining sensitive to the loss of a loved one.
After the death of a loved one, you may learn that you were named as the Trustee of a Trust that the decedent created. If you do not have a financial or legal background, this new position may seem daunting. At The Elder Law Center of Kirson & Fuller, our experienced probate attorneys are available to serve as your counsel to help ensure that you meet your duties as Trustee and properly administer the Trust. This can be very complex depending upon the value and terms of the Trust. In addition, we serve as counsel to Trustees of Special Needs Trusts and we ourselves serve as Trust Protectors for Special Needs Trusts. This requires an in-depth knowledge of government benefits such as SSI and Medicaid. Without experienced counsel, a trustee may unintentionally disqualify a beneficiary from monthly government benefits, or may cause a loan to incur an overpayment due to SSI or Medicaid. The Elder Law Center of Kirson & Fuller will review the trust documents and guide you in your fiduciary duties as Trustee.