Probate / Estate Planning
As an attorney, Robert Cemovich understands the confusion people face when contemplating the probate process. There can be far more questions than answers, especially when trying to understand the intricacies of Florida probate law.
Robert provides each client with the information and answers they need to deal with current estate issues or problems, to evaluate the types of probate that may be available to them, and to provide a fee quote for the related attorney’s fees and costs. Robert prides himself in providing high quality probate administration services for a very reasonable and competitive fee.
If you have concerns regarding the need for probate in Florida, or questions about whether probate is necessary, call Robert at 941.485.9797 or fill our free initial case evaluation form. As a Probate Attorney in Venice FL and St. Petersburg, Robert has helped many people in Southwest Florida with the probate process.
Types of Probate in Florida
The following is a brief overview of the most common types of court proceedings used in Florida to pass title of a decedent’s assets to the heirs or beneficiaries.
|Please Note:||The term ‘testate’ means there is a will.
The term ‘intestate’ means there is no will.
The term ‘decedent’ refers to the person who has passed away.
Summary administration – may be used in an estate administration if the value of the entire estate subject to administration in Florida, less the value of property exempt from the claims of creditors (e.g., homestead exempted property), does not exceed $75,000, or if the decedent has been dead for more than 2 years.
Formal administration (Florida Statutes, Chapter 733) – must be used if the decedent’s estate does not qualify for summary administration, that is the decedent has not been dead for more than 2 years and the value of decedent’s assets subject to administration in this state exceeds $75,000.
If you would like to speak with someone regarding probate in Florida, call Robert at 941.485.9797 or fill our free legal initial consultation form.
Estate Planning Documents
With his considerable experience in estate planning, Robert Cemovich can prepare a wide range of legal documents for both U.S. and non-U.S. clients’ estate planning needs. These include:
- Revocable Trusts
- Durable Powers of Attorney
- Advance Healthcare Directives
A will is a written document signed by an individual (a “testator”) before witnesses that meets the requirements of Florida law. In his or her will, the testator can name the beneficiaries who are to receive his probate assets when he or she dies. The testator can also designate a personal representative (an “executor”) of his or her choosing to administer the probate estate. Even if a person dies without a will (“intestate”), a personal representative should always engage a qualified probate attorney to assist in the administration of the probate estate. Even in the simplest probate estate administration, legal issues could arise, many of which are unfamiliar to non-attorneys. The attorney for the personal representative represents and counsels the personal representative on his or her duties and obligations under Florida law to make sure the estate is properly administered from start to finish.
Revocable Living Trusts
A trust is created and signed by a “grantor”. Created during a grantor’s lifetime, a revocable living trust allows the grantor to transfer his or her assets to the trust, which is a separate legal entity. A revocable living trust allows the grantor to set up a more flexible estate plan to fit his or her unique needs and wishes. A living trust controls the grantor’s assets and property and provides for his family after the grantor’s death One common benefit of a living trust is that it helps prevent the estate from going through the probate process in the courts. This can save a considerable amount of time and burden for the grantor’s family members. Use of a revocable living trust instead of a will to transfer assets is popular because, unlike estate administration, trust administration and distributions usually can be done without involving the court. During the grantor’s lifetime, he or she can change the trust document, add or remove assets or even revoke it.
Durable Powers of Attorney
A Durable Power of Attorney is signed by a principal who gives an agent the right to act on the principal’s behalf. The power of attorney may be very broad or it may be limited to certain specific acts, such as selling a particular property. A power of attorney usually terminates if the principal becomes incapacitated, unless it is a “Durable Power of Attorney.” A Durable Power of Attorney remains effective even if a person becomes incapacitated, subject to certain exceptions. A durable power of attorney must contain language that specifically states the power survives the incapacity of the principal. Most Powers of Attorney granted today are durable.
Advance Healthcare Directives: Living Wills and Health Care Surrogate Designations
For his estate planning clients, Robert also prepares a living will and a healthcare surrogate designation, both of which are commonly referred to as “advance healthcare directives” because they are made in advance of incapacity or need. The person signing a Living Will expresses his or her wishes as to the administration or termination of medical procedures when the person is diagnosed with a terminal condition, has an end-stage condition, or is in a persistent vegetative state. A living will is a legally enforceable document that helps make sure the person’s wishes are honored if he or she is unable to communicate with a doctor. Similarly, a Health Care Surrogate Designation is a document in which the signor designates someone else to make health care decisions for himself or herself if the principal is unable to make those decisions.
About Cemovich Law Firm, P.A.
The Cemovich Law Firm, P.A. is a boutique law firm in Venice and St. Petersburg Florida, assisting clients in Venice, North Port, Englewood, Sarasota, Bradenton and worldwide with their probate, Will and estate planning.
Click Here or call Robert at 941.485.9797 to schedule a free initial consultation.