Palm Beach, Florida – On October 25, 2012, Clearwater attorney Joseph (Jay) W. Fleece, III, of BaskinFleece, was formally inducted into the Litigation Counsel of America at the LCA’s 2012 Fall Conference & Induction of Fellows. The Induction of Fellows Dinner was held at The Breakers in Palm Beach, Florida.
The Litigation Counsel of America is a trial lawyer honorary society composed of less than one-half of one percent of American lawyers. Fellowship in the LCA is highly selective and by invitation only. Fellows are selected based upon excellence and accomplishment in litigation, both at the trial and appellate levels, and superior ethical reputation. The LCA is aggressively diverse in its composition. Established as a trial and appellate lawyer honorary society reflecting the American bar in the twenty-first century, the LCA represents the best in law among its membership.
U.S. News Media Group and Best Lawyers have released the 2013 “Best Law Firms” rankings, providing a comprehensive view of the U.S. legal profession that uses qualitative and quantitative data to develop the rankings.
The law firm of BaskinFleece has received a “Best Law Firms” designation by providing consistently impressive performance ratings by its clients and peers, and its high ranking is a special distinction that signals a unique combination of excellence and breadth of expertise.
More than 10,000 law firms were ranked nationally in one or more of 80 legal practice areas and by metro or state in 118 practice areas.
The national first-tier rankings is featured in U.S. News & World Report’s Money issue, on newsstands November 20, 2012. “U.S. News has more than two decades of experience in providing the public with the most accurate and in-depth rankings of a wide range of institutions, including our Best Law Schools rankings,” says Tim Smart, Executive Editor of U.S. News & World Report.
In the state of Florida, the term “personal representative” is used instead of such terms as “executor” or “administrator” of the will.
The personal representative is the person or company appointed by the judge to be in charge of the administration of the decedent’s probate estate. A Personal Representative can hire a law firm to assist in the administration of the probate estate processes and proceedings.
Important:The personal representative has a legal responsibility to administer the probate estate pursuant to Florida law. The personal representative must:
Identify, gather, value, and safeguard the decedent’s probate assets.
Serve a “Notice of Administration” to provide information about the probate estate administration and notice of the procedures required to be followed by those having any objection to the administration of the decedent’s probate estate.
Publish a “Notice to Creditors” in a local newspaper in order to give notice to potential claimants to file claims in the manner required by law.
File tax returns and pay any taxes properly due.
Conduct a diligent search to locate “known or reasonably ascertainable” creditors, and notify these creditors of the time by which their claims must be filed.
Object to improper claims, and defend suits brought on such claims.
Pay valid claims.
Pay statutory amounts to the decedent’s surviving spouse or family.
Distribute probate assets to beneficiaries.
Employ professionals to assist in the administration of the probate estate; for example, attorneys, certified public accountants, appraisers and investment advisors.
Pay expenses of administering the probate estate.
Close the probate estate.
Be aware: If the personal representative mismanages the decedent’s probate estate, the personal representative may be liable to the beneficiaries for any harm they may suffer.
Some of the content of this information is courtesy of The Florida Bar and represents general legal advice. Because the law is continually changing, some provisions in this blog may be out of date. It is always best to consult an attorney about your legal rights and responsibilities in your particular case.