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Client Review

"The Adams Law Firm did in a couple of weeks what another attorney couldn't do in three months! 

After my mother past away we went to the Attorney that prepared her will to settle the Probate process. After jumping thru hoops and dancing the dance we were no further than the day we started. I called Josh and he explained the process and how it works, we made an appointment right away.

We meet with Josh and Amy Adams, they were friendly, knowledgeable and very professional.  
The process was completed quickly and smoothly saving my family from all the headaches we expected.

I have nothing but the highest praise for the Adams law Firm 100% Happy!!!!!"

Rating: 5/5 Stars
Written by: Tom from Orlando. 
Date Published: June 27, 2014

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Daytona: 140 South Beach St., Suite 310, Daytona Beach, FL 32114
Winter Park:  2281 Lee Rd., Suite 102, Winter Park, FL 32789       
Clearwater:    235 N. Garden Ave., Clearwater, FL 33755
Lake Mary: ​1540 International Pkwy, Suite 2000, Lake Mary, FL 32746

(407) 270- 3724          josh@joshadamslaw.com

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Formal Administration may be necessary for many reasons, including:

Size of the Estate, Nature of Assets which must be conveyed,

Amount of Beneficiaries, Disagreements by Beneficiaries, Civil Claims

by the Estate.

You must use and Attorney for the Administration of an Estate, however the Attorney may be paid using the Estate Money.  In your initial consultation with a Probate Lawyer, you will discuss whether a formal administration is necessary and how the Attorney's Fee will be paid. Most attorney's fees are set at a fixed price for Formal Administration or based on a Percentage of the Estate. You should feel free to shop around or to negotiate a price with you attorney, but you should be sure the Estate Attorney you use does have experience with Formal Administrations. Using and attorney without experience often leads to unnecessary delays and possible loss of assets of the Estate. 

If the estate doesn’t qualify for a simpler method of administration, formal probate may be necessary. These proceedings begin when the executor nominated in the will, or another interested party, asks the circuit court to be appointed as personal  representative of the estate. 

Generally, the probate proceeding takes place in the county where the deceased person was living at the time of death Beneficiaries and heirs (people who would inherit in the absence of a valid will) are given notice, so they have a chance to object.

The court issues a document called Letters of Administration, which gives the personal representative authority to settle the  estate. If there’s a will, it must be filed with the court and proven valid. This may be done by having the witnesses to the will  give statements, under oath, about its validity. Or, if the will is “self-proving,” it’s enough to submit the document itself. Under  Florida law, a will is self-proving if the witnesses, when they watched the will-maker sign the will, signed a statement in front of a notary public. (Fla. Stat. Ann. § 733.201.)

Under the court’s supervision, the personal representative gathers and inventories assets, pays debts and taxes, and  (eventually) distributes what’s left to the people who inherit it. The personal representative must submit a final accounting to  the court, showing what the estate contained, how the assets have been managed, and the plan for distributing them to beneficiaries. Anyone who objects to the accounting can object in court.

After everything has been distributed, the personal representative files evidence (receipts) with the court, and asks that the estate be closed. The court issues an order closing the estate and relieving the personal representative of further responsibilities. Typically, the whole process takes six months to a year.