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The Morris Law Firm
Call Us Today 850.257.5680

Helping Florida Residents with Estate Plans

Estate planning might seem like an overwhelming process, but that doesn’t have to be the case. It’s important that you take the steps necessary to ensure your family will be taken care of should something unexpected happen to you. The Morris Law Firm strives to make the process as easy and efficient as possible. Estate planning is simply creating a plan that protects you and your property while living, and also provides for how to distribute your assets upon your death.

An estate plan includes, but is not limited to:

Will – A will, also known as a last will and testament, contains instructions as to how your assets will be distributed and who will manage the distribution after you pass away.

Power of Attorney – A power of attorney is a document that identifies and authorizes another to act on your behalf in dealing with your business, financial, or personal affairs and even includes the ability for another to act on your behalf in legal matters. For instance, a durable power of attorney allows you to authorize someone to buy and sell real estate or write checks on your behalf.

Health Care Surrogate – This authorizes another person the ability to make decisions about your medical care should you reach a point that you are unable to do so due to incapacity.

Living Will – This document allows you to establish your future health care plans and medical needs should you reach the point that you are unable to do so.

At The Morris Law Firm, we will help you develop a comprehensive estate plan tailored to you and your family’s needs.

Probate

We understand losing a loved one is difficult and can be made even more stressful when trying to figure out how to settle your loved one’s affairs. The process of administering an estate in Florida is known as probate. It is a legal process where the court takes jurisdiction over the assets of someone who has died and oversees the transfer of the estate’s assets to its beneficiaries or heirs.

There are two legal processes to probate in Florida: a formal administration and a summary administration. A formal administration is used when an estate is valued at $75,000 or more and a summary administration is a faster process that is only allowed in estates worth less than $75,000.

There are several steps required to probate an estate. It begins with providing the Last Will and Testament (if there is one) to the Clerk of Court. A petition is then filed with the court to open the probate proceeding. A personal representative or executor is then appointed by the court. A personal representative is an individual appointed by the court to administer the estate. Once the probate is opened, creditors are notified and expenses and claims to the estate must be paid. From there, an accounting is prepared, and finally, any assets are distributed in accordance with the decedent’s wishes. The estate is then closed.

This is not an all-inclusive list of how the probate process is concluded and unfortunately, can prove to be quite confusing and tedious to try to handle on your own. Regardless of the complexity of the probate, attorneys at The Morris Law Firm are well-equipped to guide you through this process. If you or someone you know needs help with probate in Florida, contact The Morris Law Firm for a free case evaluation.