Estate Planning: Probate Versus Trusts

Jay Fleece, of Baskin Fleece, points out the differences, advantages and disadvantages of Probate and Trusts.


Jay Fleece, of Baskin Fleece, points out the differences, advantages and disadvantages of probate and trusts.

Click on the short 3 minute video on the left that briefly describes the differences between Probate and Trusts.

What is probate?

Probate is a court-supervised process for identifying and gathering the assets of a deceased person (decedent), paying the decedent’s debts, and distributing the decedent’s assets to his or her beneficiaries. In general, the decedent’s assets are used first to pay the cost of the probate proceeding, then are used to pay the decedent’s outstanding debts, and the remainder is distributed to the decedent’s beneficiaries.
There are two types of probate administration under Florida law: formal administration and summary administration. There is also a non-court supervised administration proceeding called “Disposition of Personal Property Without Administration.” This type of administration only applies in limited circumstances.
Estate taxes, willsA recent tax law signed by President Obama may affect you. Read the New York Times article titled:  “Efforts to Avoid Probate Can Carry Their Own Risks.”
 
For more information about Probate and Trusts, please contact BaskinFleece at 727.572.4545.
Some of the information above 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 Because the law is continually changing, some provisions in this blog may be out of date.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.
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Can a Personal Representative of a Will Be Compensated?

The personal representative, the attorney, and other professionals whose services may be required in administering the probate estate (such as appraisers and accountants), are all entitled by law to reasonable compensation.

Will, wills,personal representativeEstate expenses: The personal representative’s compensation is usually determined in one of five ways: (1) as set forth in the will; (2) as set forth in a contract between the personal representative and the decedent; (3) as agreed among the personal representative and the persons who will bear the impact of the personal representative’s compensation; (4) the amount presumed to be reasonable as calculated under Florida law, if the amount is not objected to by any of the beneficiaries; or (5) as determined by the judge.

The fee for the attorney for the personal representative is usually determined in one of three ways: (1) as agreed among the attorney, the personal representative, and the persons who bear the impact of the fee; (2) the amount presumed to be reasonable calculated under Florida law, if the amount is not objected to by any of the beneficiaries; or (3) as determined by the judge.

For help with a will, estate planning and personal representative related questions, you can contact BaskinFleece at 727.572.4545.

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.

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Estate Planning: Your Digital Assets

At your death or incapacity, your estate may incur losses if no one has access to your digital assets.  It is becoming more common for people to stop paper bank statements, instead receiving all of their financial information online.

                                                                                             A short video about protecting your digital assets.

As technology changes, the nature of your assets change as well. To properly plan for your incapacity or death, your estate planning documents should include provisions regarding access, use, and control of your digital assets. Most people have one or more digital assets which include: online bank accounts, email accounts, social networking accounts, frequent flyer miles, downloaded music and books, digital photo collections, and PayPal accounts.

At your death or incapacity, your estate may incur losses if no one has access to your digital assets. It is becoming more common for people to stop paper bank statements, instead receiving all of their financial information online. If you do not provide someone with legal access to your digital assets, and the account information to access those assets, your bills may not be timely paid, or assets may be unknown and excluded from your estate. Additionally, if you maintain your photographs in a digital format, if no one has access to these digital photographs at your death, the photographs die with you and cannot be passed to your loved ones.

In order to avoid harm to your estate at your death or incapacity, your estate planning documents should include provisions authorizing your agent under your Durable Power of Attorney and your personal representative under your Last Will and Testament the ability to access, use, and control your digital assets. To assist with the management of your digital assets, you should inventory your digital assets and include the pertinent information to allow your agent and personal representative the authority to obtain access to the assets such as e-mail addresses, usernames, and passwords. An estate planning attorney can help you protect your digital assets by including provisions for your digital assets in your estate planning documents.

BaskinFleece can be contacted at 727.572.4545