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Letters of Administration – Do you really need them?!

In Florida Probate Tips by Long

I can’t say this enough: There are many situations where you do not need letters of administration. Many. Yes, the bank or customer service agent you are talking to says you do…but they are just reading from a policy manual or a list of predefined answers. They are not probate lawyers. They aren’t always right. That’s what the legal department …

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5 Common Myths about Florida Probate Law

In Probate Myths by Long

Let’s explore some common (popular?) myths about Florida probate law shall we? 1. Mom had a Will so we don’t have to go through probate. Unfortunately, dying with a Will (Testate) has no bearing on whether or not probate is necessary. The decision to probate an estate rests solely on the existence of assets that are “locked” or otherwise held …

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The Problem with Florida Probate Forms

In Cautionary Tales by Long

Every now and again, we are asked where forms can be downloaded. I honestly don’t know the answer because our forms are from a repository that caters only to attorneys. The problem with Florida probate forms is that they are designed for attorney use only – to make our jobs more efficient. However, when a website distributes them to the …

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Why You Need Probate to Sell Real Estate

In Florida Probate Questions by Long

Here’s a frequently asked question that deserves a slightly more intricate answer: “I’m clearly a child of (the decedent). Why can’t I just sign a quit claim deed over to myself so I can sell this property?” Short answer: You do not (yet) have the legal authority to sign or otherwise transfer property on the decedent’s behalf. Additionally, you can’t …

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Caution: “Probate Paralegals” on Craigslist

In Cautionary Tales by Long

Yesterday, I received what was otherwise a routine call about a potential probate case: The caller told me she had hired a “probate paralegal” to prepare the paperwork that she, the caller, would then file the case herself. She thought she had found some magical loophole to avoid hiring an attorney, until the clerk noticed some errors in the filing …

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Got Letters of Administration! What now?

In Florida Probate Process by Long

This is a followup to my previous post on starting Probate in Florida, specifically Formal Administration. The initial push in probate is dedicated to convincing the judge to appoint you as the personal representative (PR) and then issuing Letters of Administration. Now that you’ve got your credentials, it’s time to get to work. Here are your initial responsibilities once you’ve …