THE TALE OF TWO MIAMI PROBATE CASES
I have received many calls from relatives of loved ones who have recently passed away. Most of them left a house or apartment, investments, and bank accounts all in their own name. They then hire me to open a probate case in Miami-Dade County, Florida and collect and distribute the assets either according to the will or if no will exists, then according to the Florida intestacy statutes.
WHAT WERE MY LAST TWO PROBATE CALLS ABOUT?
My most recent calls were the most common probate situations and easy to use as examples. The first is a son who has two brothers and both of their parents passed away, one soon after the other. They did have a will so the probate court must follow the instructions in the will and equally divide the house and bank accounts among the three sons. The will also names one brother as the Personal Representative in this case. In this case, everyone gets along which makes it much easier.
In the second case, the mother passed away, her only child lives out of the country and is not familiar with the probate process and is lost and confused.
HOW COULD THE NECESSITY FOR PROBATE COURT IN MIAMI-DADE COUNTY HAVE BEEN AVOIDED?
In both cases, one with a will and one without a will, a Miami-Dade probate case is required because the loved ones passed away with assets in their own name with no designated paid on death beneficiary. For example, a payable -on- death beneficiary on a bank account would allow the person named to go and collect their money with proof of ID and a death certificate, assuming there are no complications.
If a person does not want to indicate a payable -on- death beneficiary or they cannot, in the case of real estate and other assets, the situation becomes more complicated.
WHAT ARE THE OTHER OPTIONS? WHAT IS A REVOCABLE TRUST?
Revocable trusts are a great option for people wanting to avoid probate for their loved ones after they pass away. When a revocable trust is properly funded, probate court is avoided. Getting back to our first example, after their father passed away and everything was no longer in joint name, the three sons or at least one of them could have suggested that their mother hire an estate planning and trust attorney to create a revocable trust. By doing this, the real estate, bank accounts, and investments could have all been transferred over to the trust and upon the mother’s death or disability, the assets could have been easily managed and then transferred upon her death.
In the second example above, a funded revocable trust would have listed the assets inside the trust and named the daughter as the trustee, simplifying this situation.
WHY SHOULD YOU USE ALLY GLASER, PA TO HANDLE YOUR WILLS, TRUST, ESTATE PLANNING AND MIAMI PROBATE MATTERS?
As a Miami Beach, Florida, Estate Planning, Wills and Trusts, and Probate Attorney, I have over twenty years of experience and handle these matters with care. I am familiar and comfortable with the Miami-Dade County probate court system and know how to get things done. Call or email me today to discuss your Estate Planning, Wills, Trust, or Miami-Dade County probate matter.