What are Probate Assets? Are Real Estate, Insurance Policies and IRA’s Probate Assets?

Some types of probate assets:

Real Estate Asset probateReal estate titled in the sole name of the decedent, or in the name of the decedent and another person as tenants in common, is a probate asset (unless it is homestead property), but real estate titled in the name of the decedent and one or more other persons as joint tenants with rights of survivorship is not a probate asset.

Property owned by husband and wife as tenants by the entirety is not a probate asset on the death of the first spouse to die but goes automatically to the surviving spouse.

Probate, Life Insurance, Annuity, IRA ProbateA life insurance policy, annuity contract or individual retirement account that is payable to a specific beneficiary is not a probate asset – but a life insurance policy, annuity contract or individual retirement account payable to the decedent’s estate is a probate asset.

Probate wills and bank accountsA bank account or investment account in the sole name of a decedent is a probate asset, but a bank account or investment account owned by the decedent and payable on death or transferable on death to another, or held jointly with rights of survivorship with another, is not a probate asset.

This list is not exclusive but is intended to be illustrative.

Click here for additional blogs on Probate, or BaskinFleece can be contacted at 727.572.4545
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 Because the law is continually changing, some provisions in this blog may be out of date.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.

Guardianships and Guardianship Administration

probate trusts advantages of each

 

BaskinFleece handles all aspects of guardianships, including uncontested guardianships and guardianship administration.

Guardianship in general involves the appointment of a Court-supervised guardian, who is sometimes a professional guardian and sometimes a family guardian. A professional guardian must pass a rigorous testing process to become a registered guardian, and all guardians are bonded for 100% of the value of the ward’s liquid assets. A family guardian must pass an eight-hour course. The guardian is a true fiduciary who is delegated the rights over an individual. This delegation may be subsequent to entry of the Order Determining Incapacity and issuance of Letters of Guardianship. A guardianship may be a plenary guardianship, where the court removes all of the enumerated statutory rights of an individual, or a limited guardianship, where only some of the rights are removed.

OldMan-Son12BaskinFleece handles all aspects of contested guardianship litigation in St. Petersburg, Tampa, Clearwater,  Pinellas County and throughout the state of Florida. Contested guardianships are those which involve either the establishment of a guardianship or situations where the alleged incapacitated person may not in fact be incapacitated, or reasonable alternatives to a guardianship exist.

For help with a elder law and guardianship 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. 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.

 

 

What Does a Personal Representative Do?

Personal Representative

A personal representative is a fiduciary appointed by the judge to be in charge of the administration of a decedent’s estate. In Florida, the term “personal representative” is used instead of such terms as executor, executrix, administrator and administratrix. A personal representative is under a duty to settle and distribute the estate of the decedent in accordance with the terms of the decedent’s will, if any, and the Florida Probate Code, as expeditiously and efficiently as is consistent with the best interests of the estate.

More specifically, a personal representative must:

  • Identify, gather, value and safeguard the decedent’s probate assets;
  • Publish a “Notice to Creditors” in a local newspaper in order to give notice to potential claimants to file any claims against the estate in the manner required by law;
  • 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;
  • 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;
  • File tax returns and pay any taxes properly due;
  • Employ professionals to assist in the administration of the probate estate, for example, attorneys, certified public accountants, appraisers and investment advisers;
  • Pay expenses of administering the probate estate;
  • Pay statutory amounts to the decedent’s surviving spouse or family;
  • Distribute probate assets to beneficiaries;
  • Close the probate estate.
Randall D. Baskin

Attorney Randall D. Baskin

A personal representative is authorized to hire an attorney to assist with the administration of the estate and is not required to use their own funds for any costs associated the administration of the decedent’s estate.

For additional information, please 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. 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.

Have a Happy and Prosperous New Year!

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 2017, and wishing you a Happy New Year!

Digital Assets Part 4: Estates – Emails, PayPal and online shopping accounts

Digital Assets and their unexpected consequences. 

Gmail and email accounts1. Can a Personal Representative get access to the personal emails of a decedent?  Can a Surviving Spouse get access to the personal emails of their deceased spouse?  Can an Agent under a Durable Power of Attorney get access to the personal emails of the principal?

PayPal logo2. Who can get access to online financial accounts, such as PayPal, of a decedent? Who can get access to online financial accounts, such as PayPal, of a person who is living but incapacitated?

accounts online3. Who can gain access to online shopping accounts, such as Amazon or Etsy, of a decedent?  Who can gain access to online shopping accounts, such as Amazon or Etsy, of a person who is living but incapacitated?

 

For the answers to these questions and other estate planning issues you might have, please contact BaskinFleece Attorney Colleen Carson at 727.572.4545.

 

Digital Assets Part 3: Estates – What can the Power of Attorney, Trustee and Guardian Can and Cannot Do

In Part 3 of Digital Assets, the content of electronic communication is only authorized if the Power of Attorney specifically says you can disclose the information or a court enters an order saying it is ok to do so. What is thPayPale power of a Trustee regarding a PayPal account moving from an individual into a trust? Can the Power of Attorney or a Guardian get access to the content of emails, PayPal and other digital accounts?

This short video from BaskinFleece attorney Colleen Carson helps clarify who can do what:

For additional information please contact BaskinFleece at 727.572.4545.

Digital Assets Part 2: Estates – What a Personal Representative Can and Can’t Do

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Attorney Colleen Carson

In Part 2 of Digital Assets, learn what happens in different scenarios with digital assets and how it may effect your estate. For example, what happens to your Facebook account, who can control it, can someone change it, what is a legacy contact and does your Facebook page get deleted or memorialized? What about Bitcoin or PayPal account disclosures? Can the personal representative access an email account and its content? These questions and many others are covered in attorney Colleen Carson’s short video below: