Jerry B. Wells is a highly respected and experienced probate and trust attorney serving clients in New Smyrna Beach, FL. He represents probate administrators, trustees, and other individuals on numerous legal matters, including probate litigation and trusts. Our law office serves clients throughout Volusia County, including Daytona Beach, DeLand, Ormond Beach, and Port Orange.
In Florida, the Personal Representative, also known as an Executor or Probate Administrator in other states, is the individual appointed by the court responsible for managing the final affairs of the decedent's estate throughout the court-supervised probate process. The personal representative or probate administrator has the fiduciary duty to protect the estate's interests under Florida law. Their job is to identify the estate's probate assets, notify and satisfy creditor claims, file tax returns, and distribute remaining assets per the decedent's wishes, among other duties.
A personal representative must be a Florida resident unless they are a close family relative. Individuals with a felony conviction or under 18 years of age are ineligible to serve as a personal representative or probate administrator in Florida. Since probate can be complex and challenging and involve litigation, it is highly recommended that a personal representative consults with a probate lawyer to protect their fiduciary responsibilities.
A trust is a complex legal document that creates a separate legal entity that holds the assets of an estate during a person's lifetime. Many families use trusts for various reasons, including privacy, asset protection, avoiding probate, and reducing tax liability, for example. However, all trusts are not the same, and there are critical legal differences between a revocable living trust and an irrevocable trust. A trust attorney can help you decide which trust is best for your financial situation.
A revocable living trust is a document that holds your assets that you will manage during your lifetime. It can be modified or revoked at any time. Upon death, the trust's assets are distributed according to the trust document, avoiding probate in most cases.
An irrevocable trust is a legal entity that holds the assets that will be transferred to beneficiaries upon the death of the person who established the trust (trustmaker). Assets transferred into an irrevocable trust cannot be removed.
Visit our website or contact us at (386) 253-3676 to schedule an appointment with an experienced Probate Attorney servicing the New Smyrna Beach, FL area!