Probate and trust administration can seem complicated and possibly stressful, but the process is usually straightforward if approached in a structured and orderly manner. An experienced practitioner should be able to identify most issues at the outset, and propose a plan to complete the administration from start to finish, along with a time frame and estimate or quote of fees involved. A person named as personal representative and/or trustee may interview attorneys prior to beginning the process.
Although there are a myriad of potential issues in estate and trust administration in general, some of the more common are:
Probate Administration: Initial steps in probate administration; inventory and appraisal; creditors claims and family allowance; Final distribution and discharge; Compensation of personal representative; Ancillary administration; Small estates and summary proceedings; Homestead and exempt property; Probate litigation.
Please refer to Table of Contents Sections 4 through 8, Probate, The Probate Process, Small Estates, Ancillary Probate Administration, and Probate Expenses in the Table of Contents of website page “Book: Florida Estate and Financial Planning” for probate matters.
Trust Administration: Powers, duties and liabilities of trustee; resignation, removal and appointment of successor trustees; Prudent investments; Trust accountings; creditors’ rights to assets in trust; Lapse, antilapse and descendible beneficial interests; termination and modification of trusts; Trust litigation; Funding trusts; Compensation of trustees and attorneys; Title problems and issues; Special needs trusts; Charitable trusts; Application of Florida Trust Code.
Both Administrations: Management of decedent’s property; sale and transfer of assets; determination of beneficiaries and interests; Partial distributions.