Probate laws are complicated. It can be exhausting to inventory assets while dealing with creditors, taxes, and beneficiary disputes.
Selis Law Firm can help you with the administration of a loved one's estate, or help you plan your own estate smartly with probate in mind.
Learn how our law firm helps the elderly population in Palm Coast and Ormond Beach, FL, with probate court matters...
What Is Probate?
Gathering the Deceased's Assets
Only certain assets are processed through probate court. Probate assets are any of the deceased's individual assets. These are assets in their name only, and with no named beneficiaries. Examples of probate assets include real estate, vehicles, bank accounts, and other solely owned titled assets.
Paying Debts and Taxes
After the deceased's inventoried assets are gathered, the assets will then be used to pay the deceased's outstanding debts, such as loans, credit cards, mortgages, and even funeral costs. A tax return must also be filed for the deceased, and any estate taxes that are due must be paid.
Distributing the Estate
When all creditors have been paid and taxes settled, the remaining assets are then distributed among the beneficiaries, with transfers of deeds and titles as needed. There are different methods of distributing the remaining assets depending on the presence of a valid will by the deceased.
Jointly Owned Property Understanding Probate Law
Since only individual assets are subject to probate, joint ownerships do not have to go through court. One estate planning strategy a probate lawyer may recommend is setting up a sound joint tenancy, so the assets automatically go to the surviving owner or owners. A tenancy by the entirety can be set up for married couples.
Why You Need a Probate Attorney How Selis Law Firm Can Help
Smart Estate Planning to Avoid ProbateIf you are elderly and would like to minimize the hassles of probate, Selis Law Firm offers smart estate planning done right. Whether it's establishing a revocable trust or joint ownership of property, our law firm can make sure your loved ones receive the assets you want them to.
Breaking Down Complicated Legal ConceptsWithout a probate lawyer, you may feel lost in the intricacies of probate law. Working with a lawyer you can trust means you can ask for clarification whenever it's needed, and as many times as you need. We will translate legalese into a language you can understand.
Open, Honest, Accessible CommunicationCommunication with a skilled probate attorney at Selis Law Firm is both safe and convenient. Whether on the phone, over the internet on video chat, or in person if you are unable to leave your home, you can speak with a probate lawyer who will listen and who cares.
We Do More Than Just PaperworkSome probate lawyers simply fill out paperwork and sort out the estate with minimal effort. At our law offices in Ormond Beach and Palm Coast, we approach your probate case with compassion. We care about your needs and end goals, not just about the process.
A Probate Law Testimonial
"Due to the untimely passing of my sister, and being new to the area, I had to rely on reviews by neighbors in locating an estate attorney to help me navigate the Florida probate process. It's been a daunting year to say the least, but with the help, guidance, and assistance of Selis Elder Law, the process proceeded. Scott and his team provided much needed guidance; answers to questions (and sometimes the same question many times so I could fully understand it); and courteous, caring, and professional service. The situation that brought us together was heartbreaking for me personally, but I was in good hands throughout the process. Thank you, Scott, Chelsea, DeLisa, and Lorrie--and all the others behind the scenes!" John Margie Check - 5 Star Google Review - 2019
Schedule a Consultation Learn More about the Probate Process
The probate process is often complicated and emotionally exhausting, which is why it's important to work with a lawyer who is familiar with probate law as well as the intricacies of wills, trusts, and estate planning.
Attorney Scott Selis offers the guidance you need. He has helped countless elderly clients in Volusia and Flagler Counties, offering easy-to-understand explanations about probate law and what to expect in court.
If you would like to speak with a probate attorney who keeps his clients informed, contact Selis Law Firm online or call our offices in Ormond Beach and Palm Coast at:
Types of Probate Administration
Formal administration is the most common or "normal" kind of probate process. Florida state law requires formal administration when the decedent's non-exempt assets exceed $75,000, and when less than two years have passed since the decedent's death.
Summary administration is used when the decedent's probate estate is less than $75,000 or if the decedent died more than two years ago. Given the name, these kinds of probate cases tend to proceed much faster than formal administration proceedings.
Disposition without Administration
Disposition without administration is for cases in which the decedent's funeral and medical expenses within 60 days of their death exceeds probate assets. In addition, the decedent's probate assets must not be real estate and must be exempt from creditors.
Domiciliary vs. Ancillary Additional Types of Probate
Domiciliary probate refers to a decedent's assets that are located in Florida when the decedent was a Florida resident. Ancillary probate refers to assets located in Florida but the decedent is not a Florida resident. A lawyer can offer guidance with these assets, how they should be reported, and the multiple court filings that may be required.
Probate with and without a Will
With a Will
The personal representative executes the will to the best of their ability. In the will, the decedent specifies which assets are distributed to specific beneficiaries.
Without a Will
What about Trusts? Avoiding Probate Court
Assets in a revocable or "living" trust do not go through the probate process. The trustee will distribute assets to the beneficiaries who are named in the trust agreement. Our law firm in Ormond Beach and Palm Coast can help you create a trust and assist with other estate planning needs.
"Caring, efficient, and knowledgeable." We Are Here for the People of Ormond Beach and Palm Coast
Our family has been a client of Selis Elder Law of Florida for the past three years. We actually followed Scott Selis from another law firm because of Scott Selis' expertise and compassion. A couple of his expert staff went with Scott when he opened his own law firm. This says a lot about his character and integrity. Scott's guidance in creating two trusts for our family made it easy, and he answered every question that we had. If you or your family needs an elder law firm, we highly recommend Selis Elder Law of Florida. You will be very pleased with the care that he and his staff show you and, most importantly, the results.View On Google
We were very happy with the all the guidance and advice we received from Selis Elder Law. During the midst of COVID, my sister-in-law moved here, got sick, and ended up in a nursing home. Selis Law directed us to ensure that our family member will be protected financially. The staff is caring, efficient, and knowledgeable.View On Google
Speak with an Insightful Probate Attorney Our Law Firm Can Help You in Probate Court
Whether you're struggling with the complexities of Florida probate law or trying to wisely plan your estate, the team at Selis Law Firm can help. Our offices in Ormond Beach and Palm Coast are ready to listen to you and offer our guidance. Our law firm will stand by your side and have your back. We encourage you to schedule a consultation online or give us a call at:
Our team is known for clear and honest communication...
The Probate Process What to Expect During Formal Administration
With empathy and compassion, Selis Law Firm helps bring peace of mind to families of all types as they plan for illness, disability, and death.
"An outstanding job" We Prepare Clients for the Probate Process
"My wife and I knew it was time to get serious about estate planning for the benefit of our family when we are gone. Scott Selis and his team has done an outstanding job of preparing our trusts, reviewing and rewriting our wills, and rewriting our property deeds to be in accordance with Florida law. The steps and the process they walked us through was organized and easy to understand. We highly recommend Selis Elder Law for your family estate planning needs." Larry Blankenship, 5-Star Google Review in 2020
Contact Our Elder Law Practice A Law Firm Committed to Issues Facing the Elderly
If you've lost a loved one or are planning your estate, you need a knowledgeable lawyer on your side to prepare for any issues with the probate process. Selis Law Firm stands with the elderly community of Ormond Beach and Palm Coast, and can provide compassionate counsel while an estate is being settled. To discuss your situation with a probate attorney who will listen to you, contact Selis Law Firm online or call our offices at:
Our law firm will stand by your side when you need it most...
Mediation or Litigation Resolving Probate Cases
Probate lawyers have different methods of resolving disputes in probate cases. Mediation avoids going to court, and involves a third-party mediator who facilities a negotiation between the attorneys for the parties in conflict. If the attorneys cannot reach a mutually agreeable compromise, the dispute will head to court for litigation.
"I would highly recommend this firm to anyone" An Attorney Who Listens to the Needs of the Elderly
Wonderful attorney's office. They have the utmost knowledge of estate planning whether you are a snowbird like myself or a year around resident. I would highly recommend this firm to anyone interested in the best in estate planning. They have an excellent knowledgeable staff as well.View On Google
It was a pleasure working with Scott and his staff for my estate planning needs. They are friendly, knowledgeable, thorough, professional, and easy to work with. Highly recommended.View On Google
How long does the probate process take?The probate process can take several months or longer, particularly if an estate is challenged or if there are disputes between beneficiaries. The overall time can even vary from lawyer to lawyer. In some cases, Selis Law Firm has been able to reach the distribution of assets in as little as two to eight weeks.
What are the most common methods of avoiding probate?
To avoid probate, an attorney may recommend the following:
- Establishing a trust
- Setting up a joint ownership
- Making beneficiary designations (e.g., payable on death/POD) on applicable accounts
Our probate lawyer can walk you through these various methods while planning your estate.