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Meet The Challenges Of Estate Administration And Probate

An estate must go through probate whenever there are assets in a decedent’s sole or individual name. If you have been nominated as personal representative of an estate, Delzer, Coulter & Bell, P.A., can provide skilled assistance in obtaining your appointment as personal representative by the probate court and give you the advice and assistance needed to fulfill your administrative duties.

The firm offers probate services that other law offices do not typically provide, such as the preparation and filing of estate and income tax returns and the representation in real estate transactions for property sold during probate.

Your Duties In Probate

If you are named in a decedent’s will as a personal representative, you are responsible for seeing the estate through probate. You will likely need the assistance of an attorney with:

  • Filing a petition for administration in the probate court
  • Publishing and serving a notice to creditors
  • Taking inventory of the estate
  • Paying the estate’s debts and probate expenses
  • Filing a U.S. estate tax return, if the estate is of substantial size
  • Filing the decedent’s final income tax return and income tax returns for the estate
  • Making an accounting of all financial transactions
  • Paying creditors and obtaining satisfaction of claims for filing with the probate court
  • Distributing assets to the beneficiaries

The firm’s attorneys and experienced staff are hands-on, ready to help you carry out all of your duties with maximum efficiency.

Probate Costs

The cost of probate depends on the condition and complexity of the estate. Probate expenses may include:

  • Court costs
  • Probate bond premium expense
  • Publication costs
  • Surety bonds
  • Accounting fees
  • Personal representative’s commission and attorney’s fees

Disputes may result in litigation, which can be expensive. There may also be estate taxes, depending on the size of the estate.

Estate Tax Obligations

Although Florida does not have an estate tax, your estate may still be responsible for paying estate taxes to the federal government. In 2021, there is an asset exemption of $11,700,000. Assets subject to estate tax at the time of death include, in addition to all probate assets, those assets held in:

  • Living trusts
  • Transfer on death accounts
  • Accounts held in joint ownership with rights of survivorship
  • Life insurance
  • 401(k) and other pension plans

It is advisable to reduce your taxable assets during your lifetime through strategic estate planning.

Let A Board Certified Specialist Assist With Your Estate Administration Duties

The attorneys at Delzer, Coulter & Bell, P.A., provide a free analysis and consultation regarding estate administration requirements. Lawyer Rebecca C. Bell is a Florida board certified elder law attorney and has a Master of Laws in Elder Law. Lawyer Wayne R. Coulter is a Florida board certified wills, trusts and estates attorney and a former attorney with the Internal Revenue Service Estate Tax Section. Their experience and expertise enable them to provide an expeditious and efficient administration of decedents’ estates. Get in touch with the firm online or call 877-815-4218. Your initial consultation is free.