Is an estate too small to probate? Anytime that there’s an asset in the name of the decedent, and there was no designated beneficiary. It has to go through some sort of probate proceeding. Now, the answer, to the question is, you don’t want to pay the lawyer or someone to handle the probate that costs more than the asset that you’re trying to have passed to a beneficiary. There are various, small estate, administrations, if the assets less than $10,000 and the funeral bill has been paid, then you may be able to proceed with the court and get a distribution without administration, without going through a formal type of probate. If the assets exceed the $10,000. And however, they’re less than $75,000 and provision has been made to pay all the creditors. Well, in that event, you can file what they call a summary administration, which is a short version of probate and is fairly quick and is less expensive than what they call a formal administration.
If the assets exceed $75,000, or that there are creditors that no provisions has been made for, then you would go through what they call a formal administration, where you have letters of administration issued to the executor, and you give notice to creditors. You have the claims filed, you have the beneficiaries to determine, and if there’s real property involved, you have the property declared to be homestead, which may be exempt from the claims of creditors. So then if, even if it’s so small that it doesn’t make any sense to even go to a smallest state administration, after a certain amount of time, the asset may be forfeited unless it’s real estate and go to the to the state of Florida. And they have a treasure hunt after two or three years where you could possibly apply to obtain the asset. Once it’s forfeited to the state of Florida. If you have any questions about probate, give me a call at (727) 847-2288.
What estates need to be probated? And what estates do not need to be probated whenever the deceit and passes away. And all of his titled assets are in his joint names with someone else, they will pass to the joint tenant that has the right of survivorship. There are many examples where there’s a designated beneficiary, such as a individual retirement account, an IRA account. They designate beneficiaries, same thing with the life insurance annuities. Many bank accounts may have a designation such as payable on death or interest trust for, and designate beneficiaries should receive the assets. All of these assets pass without going through probate. So those assets do not have to go through a probate process. If there are assets that are in the decedent’s name alone, such as real estate, or bank account, or a securities account, whether stocks or bonds that are just in the decedent’s name and there’s no designated beneficiary or joint tenant, then those are the assets that have to go through probate. So, if you have any questions about probate, give me a call at (727) 847-2288.
How often should I update my durable power of attorney? You should update it any time that you want to change, who you want to serve as your agent, under your power of attorney. Also you may choose to update it every three to five years, and that during the past three to five years, they’ve changed the power of attorney statute in Florida under the new power of attorney statute. You’re giving your agent so can give your agent the authority to help qualify you for Medicaid. Also deal with your retirement accounts and other, estate planning documents. So that’s whenever you may wish to update. I’ve encountered some problems with banks or other folks that deal with, powers of attorney when you present them. Even though they are legally valid, if they’re old, they may not accept them. And of course, that’s the whole purpose of giving. the power of attorney is to facilitate, the signature, particularly if the person who gave it, to the agent has become incapacitated, you would not want it to be rejected. So, you just, as a practical matter, you may want to update your power of attorney every three to five years, or it at such time as if you wish to change your agent or your agent passes away. If you have any questions, give me a call at (727) 847-2288.
Do I need to do estate planning, even if I do not have much money? The answer to that question is, yes. And that what money you do have, you want to be able to designate who you would like to receive it when ever you pass on. So, there’s a lot to estate planning other than just writing a will. A will I look at is basically a fallback position in the event that you have not properly planned your state for it to pass to whoever you would like your assets to go to the estate planning includes putting a designation on your bank accounts, to have them pay a belong death to whoever you would like to receive them. If you own real estate, even if it has a mortgage, you can sign a life estate deed whereby you can designate who would receive the property upon your death. This is called some in some circles called old lady bird deed. And these are simple ways to pass your assets on to whoever you’d like to receive them. Even though you don’t have a whole lot, you can do it and avoid having a probate. There’s also documents that go along with estate planning, such as the living will a healthcare surrogate and a durable power of attorney that you need to consider. Whenever you come in for an estate planning conference, my phone number is (727) 847-2288. Give me a call and I’ll be glad to talk with you about your estate plan
How do assets pass it death? Well, the most easiest way to have the assets best is through beneficiaries, which everyone’s familiar with life insurance. And so you designate a beneficiary on your life insurance application, or the decedent does designating who the beneficiary is. That’s the same way that IRAs are passed to beneficiaries annuities. You can also set up your brokerage accounts with a designation of a beneficiary by designating a transfer on death, beneficiary, and name, whoever you wish to receive it. Your bank accounts, wouldn’t be set up with a payable on death and they will then pass to whoever you designate as the beneficiary. If someone dies and they own asset titled assets in their name alone, such as real estate or a bank account, then, they would pass through a probate proceeding. And we would first ask if there’s a will, which says who the beneficiary would be. And if so, then once it goes through the probate proceeding, the creditors get paid and the administration costs get paid. And then the money passes to the designated beneficiary through the probate process. If the decedent died without a will, then the laws of the state of Florida designate who is to receive the assets of the decedent. And again goes through a probate process and the, the creditors are paid. The administration expenses are paid and then it passes or is distributed to the beneficiaries that are designated under the Florida laws. If you have any questions about a probate or, who receives assets upon a decedent’s death, Well, give me a call at (727) 847-2288.