The New Year Marks a New Beginning.

baskinFleece - happy New Year!The New Year marks a time for reflecting on the past year and contemplating what we learned from the last 365 days to make the coming year even better. Yes, it’s a time to celebrate past success, but it’s also a time for bold moves and fresh starts. It’s a time for dreams and friendships both old and new. It’s an opportune time to raise a toast to those who share your business success and those who cherish your personal happiness and hopes for the future.

The New Year marks a new beginning. New people to meet, new adventures to enjoy, and new memories to create. Here’s wishing you the gift of peace and prosperity throughout 2016, and wishing you a Happy New Year!


Take Time to Give Today and Plan for Tomorrow

Community foundationIt’s that time of year when joy and thoughts of giving are upon us. Whether it’s shopping for Christmas presents, observing Hanukkah, celebrating Kwanzaa or the day of Enlightenment, take time to not only think about your family and loved ones, but those in your community who are not as fortunate as you. There are many families and organizations right here in Pinellas County that could use your help. If you have the time, volunteering can warm your heart, but if you are too busy to volunteer, a donation to your favorite charity or organization would be appreciated more than you can imagine.

Community FoundationFor example, the Pinellas Community Foundation is committed to making the Pinellas County community a better place to live. Through the generosity and dedication of their donors, advisors, and community leaders, they serve the community in the following roles:

1. Support non-profit organizations in Pinellas County so they may continue to provide effective and productive programs that benefit the community.

2. Serve donors who seek knowledge of community needs and of effective charitable giving vehicles. There are so many ways to give, the Pinellas Community Foundation can help you with the options.

3. Connect to the local community and know their needs. The Pinellas Community Foundation manages programs to deliver grants and scholarships, support educational endeavors, and address priority community needs.

Pinellas Community FoundationIt’s also a time to think about yourself and the loved ones around you. Planning what happens to your assets, estate, other valuables, and pets is something to consider as one of your New Year’s resolutions. BaskinFleece can help you with your estate planning, so call us today at 727.572.4545 to plan for your future, and call the Pinellas Community Foundation at 727.531.0058 to help those in need today.

Compensation of a Personal Representative When Administering an Estate

Estates and Trusts: The 2015 Florida Statutes – Compensation of a Personal Representative

Personal representative compensationA personal representative shall be entitled to a commission payable from the estate assets without court order as compensation for ordinary services. The commission shall be based on the compensable value of the estate, which is the inventory value of the probate estate assets and the income earned by the estate during administration.

A commission computed on the compensable value of the estate is presumed to be reasonable compensation for a personal representative in formal administration as follows:

(a) At the rate of 3 percent for the first $1 million.
(b) At the rate of 2.5 percent for all above $1 million and not exceeding $5 million.
(c) At the rate of 2 percent for all above $5 million and not exceeding $10 million.
(d) At the rate of 1.5 percent for all above $10 million.

personal representativeIn addition to the previously described commission, a personal representative shall be allowed further compensation as is reasonable for any extraordinary services including, but not limited to:

(a) The sale of real or personal property.
(b) The conduct of litigation on behalf of or against the estate.
(c) Involvement in proceedings for the adjustment or payment of any taxes.
(d) The carrying on of the decedent’s business.
(e) Dealing with protected homestead.
(f) Any other special services which may be necessary for the personal representative to perform.”
The above text is an excerpt from 2015 Florida Statute 733.617. For more information about the role and compensation of a Personal Representative in St. Petersburg, Tampa and Clearwater, call BaskinFleece at 727.572.4545.
This blog is designed for general information only. The information presented at this site should not be construed to be formal legal advice nor the formation of a lawyer/client relationship.


Probate Ensures the Decedent’s Estate Debts Are Paid

probate oversees the paying of estate debtsOne of the primary purposes of probate is to ensure that the decedent’s estate debts are paid in an orderly fashion. The personal representative must use diligent efforts to give actual notice of the probate proceeding to “known or reasonably ascertainable” creditors. This gives the creditors an opportunity to file claims in the Lawyer for estate planningdecedent’s probate estate, if any. Creditors who receive notice of the probate administration generally have three months to file a claim with the clerk of the circuit court. The personal representative, or any other interested persons, may file an objection to the statement of claim. If an objection is filed, the creditor must file a separate independent lawsuit to pursue the claim. A claimant who files a claim in the probate proceeding must be treated fairly as a person interested in the probate estate until the claim has been paid, or until the claim is determined to be invalid.

The legitimate debts of the decedent, specifically including proper claims, taxes, and expenses of the administration of the decedent’s probate estate, must be paid before making distributions from the will to the decedent’s beneficiaries.

Paying creditors of a will before distributing fundsThe court will require the personal representative to file a report to advise of any claims filed in the probate estate, and will not permit the probate estate to be closed unless those claims have been paid or otherwise disposed of.

For help or answers to estate-related questions, you can contact BaskinFleece at 727.572.4545.

This blog is designed for general information only. The information presented at this site should not be construed to be formal legal advice nor the formation of a lawyer/client relationship.
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.