Trust & Probate Litigation

Ocala Attorneys Skilled in Trust and Probate Matters

It is a huge responsibility to administer a loved one's estate or be a trustee for a trust in Florida. There are numerous duties and obligations that personal representatives and trustees must satisfy. Failure to perform these duties and obligations can result in legal liability and exposure to probate litigation. So much is at stake with assets accumulated over a lifetime that it is sensible to work with attorneys who have helped many clients administer trusts and estates. The Dean Law Firm represents clients with regard to trust and probate administration in cities throughout Central Florida, including Ocala, Crystal River, and The Villages.

When we have been asked to administer an estate or trust, our Ocala lawyers have worked to complete the process as smoothly and speedily as possible. We can also help you satisfy with your duties as a personal representative or trustee. Whether we act as administrators or offer advice on how to act as an administrator, the duties are similar. An administrator’s or trustee's duties include taking inventory of estate assets, filing an accounting of the estate, paying all creditors and taxes legitimately owed by the estate, giving notice to creditors, identifying beneficiaries of the estate, and distributing the proceeds of the estate. We will provide regular updates to beneficiaries and work to expedite the process whenever possible.

How Probate and Revocable Trusts May Affect You

Probate is a legal procedure in which a probate court assumes jurisdiction over the property of a person who has just died. Through probate, the court oversees debt repayment, tax payment, and probate fees. The court makes sure that the rest of the assets go to people named in a will, or an heir if there is no will. Some people draft and fund a trust, rather than leave their legacy to probate. Trust administration, however, is a responsibility that must be placed on an individual. If the trust is carefully designed, it will not have a negative impact on the family with respect to estate taxes and the like.

A revocable trust is a document to manage someone's assets during his or her lifetime and distribute those that are left after he or she dies. Whoever creates a trust is a “grantor” or “settlor,” while the person responsible for the management of the trust assets is a “trustee.” The trust is “revocable” because the grantor can modify it during his or her lifetime, assuming he or she is mentally capable of doing so. If the grantor does become incapacitated, the trustee designated will manage assets, pay bills, and make any investment decisions.

The court will not need to appoint a guardian for your property and after your death. The trustee, not probate court, will pay claims and taxes and distribute assets that were transferred to the property. Assets include investments, real estate properties, and bank accounts. If any assets are not properly transferred to a trust, they may be subject to probate, but there are certain assets that should not be transferred.

Contact Ocala Probate Lawyers for Knowledgeable Representation

Florida has a large population of elderly people, and many of them need help with the property they've acquired during their lifetimes, often in other states. Our attorneys provide a free initial consultation to discuss your situation. We represent clients who need help with probate and trust administration in Ocala, Marion, Sumter, Lake, Citrus, and Levy Counties. For a free consultation, contact us at 352-387-8700 or via our online form.