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Home > Wills, Trusts, Probate and Guardianship > Probate and Guardianship Administration

Tampa Probate Attorneys

After someone passes away, their property is passed down to their beneficiaries through a court-supervised process known as probate. Probate is necessary for certain types of assets to be passed down. Most assets that are owned by a decedent at death that lack a means for automatic transfer of ownership are considered probate assets. Common probate assets include real property (unless it is the homestead of the decedent), motor vehicles, and bank accounts.  Assets that are commonly excluded from probate because they transfer automatically as a result of a decedent’s death are financial accounts with “transfer on death” designations and real property that is held as a joint tenancy with the right of survivorship.

The personal representative is the person who is in charge of managing the deceased’s property and ensuring it’s given to the proper beneficiary. Florida law requires that all personal representatives are either attorneys or represented by an attorney. Our probate attorneys are experienced in handling estates of various sizes. During the tumultuous time of losing a loved one, the last thing you want to worry about is legal technicalities. Let our Probate attorneys take on that burden while you focus on more important things.

Types of Probate

Under Florida law, there are four types of probate administration. The two most common are “formal administration” and “summary administration.” A third type, called “disposition of personal property without administration,” is available for very small estates that satisfy certain conditions.  And the fourth type, called “ancillary administration,” is for property outside of Florida and is initiated in the state in which the property is located.

Our probate attorneys know how to identify which type is most suitable for you considering the facts and circumstances of your case and will help you administer the estate for a proficient and peaceful resolution.

The Florida Probate Code and Florida Probate Rules govern the probate process and can be very complicated in their application. Throughout the probate process, certain steps must be completed within statutorily required time frames. If a step is accidentally overlooked or completed with errors, or if an important deadline is missed, it can leave the decedent’s estate, or the beneficiaries of the decedent’s estate, open to litigation for years to come and it can result in a complete waiver of a valuable right.

With Older Lundy & Alvarez, You Are Never Alone

The passing of a loved one can be a very difficult time in anyone’s life. Let the probate attorneys at Older Lundy & Alvarez offer assistance in getting you through this emotional time by handling all your legal needs and guiding you through administering the estate of your dearly departed. Call 813-254-8998 to schedule an appointment and come in for a free consult.

Tampa Guardianship Attorneys

A guardian may be appointed by the court when an adult or minor is not capable of managing their own affairs, whether those are financial or personal affairs. The person who is considered incapable of managing their own affairs is called the ward. A guardianship case is supervised by the court for as long as the guardianship is necessary. The process of getting the court to appoint a guardian to care for the needs of the ward can be a long and arduous process and isn’t always necessary.

Florida law requires all guardians to be represented by an attorney. Our team of guardianship attorneys has extensive knowledge and pervasive experience in analyzing your particular situation and helping you decide whether a guardianship is right for you and the most effective type of guardianship for your needs. There are two main types of guardianships: a guardianship for an adult and a guardianship for a minor.

Adult Guardianship

If an adult lacks the capacity to act for him or herself, someone can petition the court to have them appointed guardian to manage the affairs of that adult. A guardianship can cover everything from financial matters to medical matters to legal matters. A court-appointed panel of experts completes a full analysis of the ward to determine whether the ward is actually incapacitated and, if so, to what extent. That report is shared with the court during a hearing to determine the extent of incapacity. The court then determines what rights should be taken away from the ward and given to the guardian. A guardianship is a serious matter because the court is legally taking away the rights of the ward and giving those rights to a court-appointed guardian.

The court can appoint a guardian of the person of the ward. This means that the ward no longer has control over the decisions that affect them personally. Most notably, medical decisions. This type of guardianship is necessary when the ward suffers from a mental illness like Alzheimer’s and he or she is incapable of making major decisions. The court can also appoint a guardian of the property of the ward. This means that the ward no longer has control over decisions that affect their property, such as financial decisions. The guardian would then be in control of managing the ward’s money and property.

Minor Guardianships

Typically, the right to handle the affairs of a minor child are vested in that child’s parents. However, if the minor child owns assets whose value exceeds $15,000, a guardianship of the minor may be necessary. In this situation, the minor child’s parents usually become the guardians. If the minor child doesn’t have living parents, the court may appoint anyone qualified to serve as guardian after they petition the court for such an appointment.

Guardian Advocates

Another option available to those who are concerned about the well-being of another is a guardian advocacy. In Florida, a guardian advocate may be appointed to care for someone who possesses developmental disabilities and may lack the ability to make major decisions for themselves. In a guardian advocacy, the ward does not need to be labeled legally incapacitated for the court to appoint a guardian advocate. A guardian advocate may be appointed if the court finds that the ward lacks sufficient decision-making capabilities to care for themselves.

Our guardianship attorneys represent guardians, guardian advocates, and wards. Sometimes a guardianship is commenced to gain control of someone’s property or persons when that person does not lack capacity. Our guardianship attorneys will challenge any wrongful allegations of incapacity and ensure that the court does not improperly strip a ward of his or her rights.

Compassionate Advice and Assistance from Tampa Guardianship Lawyers

Let the Tampa guardianship attorneys at Older Lundy & Alvarez inform you of your options during this difficult time. Call 813-254-8998 to schedule an appointment and take the first step towards a calmer mind.

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