Estate Administration and Trust Administration are also among the principal focuses of our practice at Wood, Seitl and Anderson. Estate and Trust Administration refers to advising as to the dispositive provisions of the Trust of a decedent, (in the case of a Trust), and the process of probating the estate of a decedent (in the case of a Will), which generally includes collecting, inventorying and appraising assets; paying and collecting debts; filing and paying estate taxes (through IRS form 706); and distributing the remaining assets to beneficiaries.
Probate is a court supervised process for identifying and gathering the decedent’s assets, paying taxes, claims and expenses of administration, and distributing assets to beneficiaries as directed in a Will or in accordance with the law if no Will exists. There are two types of probate administration under Florida law: formal administration and summary administration.
Personal Representative and Trustee Duties
The Personal Representative (sometimes referred to as executor) and Trustee is the person named by the decedent in the Will to administer the estate and in the Trust to distribute the Trust assets. The Personal Representative/Trustee has many important functions to complete, including:
- Gathering and inventorying all assets of the estate
- Appraising the assets
- Collecting any payments or debts owed to the estate
- Paying any debts owed by the estate
- Filing and paying local, state and federal taxes
- Distributing assets to the beneficiaries as stipulated in the Will