Statewide Probate and Trust Administration
Let our experience guide you when a loved one dies.
When a loved one dies, if you have been told that you need letters of administration before you can get access to a bank or brokerage account or that you need a court order to sell a home, then you need to hire an attorney to help you open a probate estate. Probate administration in Florida often involves asking the court to appoint a personal representative to marshal the loved one's assets, pay creditors who file legitimate claims, and then distribute the assets to the heirs. Summary Administration is a simpler estate process available for smaller estates or any size estate opened more than two years after the property owner has died. Having a Will does not avoid probate. Probate with a Will is a testate estate. Probate without a Will is an intestate estate, and property passes to the heirs-at-law also known as next of kin.
If you find that you have been named successor trustee of a trust upon the resignation, incapacity, or death of a loved one, then you need the guidance of an attorney to explain the trustee's duties for trust administration which include paying taxes and other expenses, and making plans to distribute and terminate the trust or to establish sub-trusts or to further administer trust assets for the benefit of the trust beneficiaries.
If you are an estate or trust beneficiary and you have a disagreement with the way that an estate or trust is being administered or you have cause to dispute a will or a trust, contact our office for a review of the issues and the related documents in the case, so you can determine the best way to proceed in seeking a remedy.
Lauren Richardson has assisted hundreds of personal representatives and trustees carry out their duties. She has also represented beneficiaries who need help understanding their rights in a trust or estate matter or have a dispute that requires intervening in a probate proceeding or filing a trust case against a trustee.
Small or large, every estate is unique and has its own challenges. Lauren Richardson helps families avoid conflict or reach solutions wherever possible. Her philosophy is that litigation is sometimes necessary, but other methods of dispute resolution should always be explored.
Lauren uses her background in taxation to prepare accurate probate and trust accountings. For taxable estates, Lauren prepares Federal estate tax returns (Form 706) or gift tax returns (Form 709) or works together with your CPA to coordinate estate and trust administration with tax elections and filings.
Our office handles probate and trust administration cases Statewide across Florida.
Call for a free phone consultation. Lauren will help you determine whether you need to open an estate and how to handle other transfers that do not require probate. There are many steps to take when a loved one dies to protect your property rights.