Probate and Guardianship
Probate is the process that implements the estate plan you created while you were alive. In the State of Florida, if you pass away owning assets that are titled solely in your name, those assets must be re-titled into the name of someone who is still living so that ownership can continue. The probate process is the means by which those assets are re-titled. Probate is better avoided through quality estate planning, but we can help you navigate the probate process if necessary and help your heirs avoid it in the first place.
Frequently, people have concerns regarding the process because it can be expensive and time consuming, but it is unfortunately necessary if proper planning has not been done during lifetime to avoid the probate process. Likewise, with guardianship, the process is there to protect people who have lost the ability to take care of themselves either physical or financially by taking away their rights to make decisions for themselves and giving that right to the person the Court deems (or the family of the person agrees) is best suited to care for the person who is the subject of the guardianship (the “incapacitated person”).
Once appointed, the guardian is then responsible for managing all the rights taken from the incapacitated person and must make not only annual reports to the court regarding the assets and welfare of that person, but must also ask the Court to utilize the assets in guardianship estate for that person’s benefit. Again, the process can be a daunting, expensive and time consuming one. At the Bass Law Group, Sheron will provide you with caring and effective advice and counsel and will guide you through the either the probate or the guardianship process.
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