Ordinary and Extraordinary Services
Probate Administration: Ordinary and Extraordinary Legal Services
An individual who has been placed in the role of personal representative will be tasked with many responsibilities throughout the probate process. The responsibilities are enough to make even the most levelheaded, intelligent and organized individual feel overwhelmed.
Let us shoulder the burden for you. You do not have to handle personal representative responsibilities on your own. Let attorney Craig F. Snyder guide you along the way. Contact us for our experienced Florida personal representatives lawyer.
The law categorizes the legal services to the personal representative as ordinary or extraordinary services. In some cases under statute, there are also extraordinary services that must be completed. Our firm can assist you with all of the following ordinary and extraordinary services. We tackle the difficult legal processes on your behalf, ensuring that each responsibility is met in a timely and accurate manner.
Ordinary Legal Services
Ordinary legal services are those shown on the following list, to the extent applicable to the estate:
- Review, analysis and interpretation of testamentary documents and explanation of the wills dispositive provisions, or the intestate laws terms if there is no will, and procedures of probate.
- Preparation of pleadings and papers to be filed with the probate court.
- Appointment of the client by the court as personal representative of the estate.
- Service of legal notices on person required to be served in the manner provided by law.
- Advice regarding obligations to account to the court and interested persons and procedures.
- Counsel regarding collecting assets of the estate.
- Counsel regarding the duty to protect, insure and manage estate assets.
- Counsel regarding the duty to make assets productive of income and limitations imposed by the prudent investor rule.
- Counsel regarding inter-relationships of any trust created by decedent with the probate estate and duties and obligations of, and to, the trustee.
- Counsel regarding the duty to locate and notify estate creditors (including those who are deemed by Florida law a creditor for notice purposes even if owed nothing), duty owed by client to creditors and procedures and priorities in payment or compromise of claims and payment of expenses of administration.
- Advice on elective share, family allowance, and exempt property entitlements and considerations of homestead real property.
- Advice on the requirements to inform and account to interested persons.
- Advice on filing requirements for various tax returns required to be prepared and filed by client, including decedent’s final income tax return, income tax returns for the estate and an estate tax return.
- Clearance of tax liens from estate property and advice on matters of clear title on real property.
- Advice on the order and priority of payment of debts of the deceased and expenses of the estate.
- Advice on abatement or ademption of devises and obtain court order if applicable.
- Interim and final distribution of cash, specific and other devises, and estate residuary including preparation and recording of certificate of distribution of real and other property as applicable and preparation of legal documents to make a distribution.
- Advice on avoidance of self-dealing, conflicts of interest, duty of impartiality and obligations to creditors and beneficiaries.
Extraordinary Legal Services
Extraordinary legal services are all other legal services required in the administration of an estate, including, but not necessarily limited to, the following:
- Involvement in a will contest, will construction, a proceeding for determination of beneficiaries, a contested claim, elective share proceeding, apportionment of estate taxes, or any adversarial proceeding or litigation by or against the estate.
- Representation of the personal representative in audit or any proceeding for adjustment, determination, or collection of any taxes.
- Tax advice on postmortem tax planning, including, but not limited to, disclaimer, renunciation of fiduciary commission, alternate valuation date, allocation of administrative expenses between tax returns, the QTIP or reverse QTIP election, allocation of GST exemption, qualification for Internal Revenue Code ss.6166 and 303 privileges, deduction of last illness expenses, fiscal year planning, distribution planning, asset basis considerations, handling income or deductions in respect of a decedent, valuation discounts, special use and valuation, handling employee benefit or retirement proceeds, prompt assessment request, or request for release of personal liability for payment of tax.
- Review of estate tax return and preparation or review of the tax returns required to be filed by the personal representative.
- Preparation of the estate’s federal estate tax return, including services for routine audit of the return, not beyond the examining agent level, if required.
- Purchase, sale, lease or encumbrance of real property by the personal representative or involvement in zoning, land use, environmental, or other similar matters.
- Legal advice regarding carrying on of the decedent’s business or conducting other commercial activity by the personal representative.
- Legal advice regarding claims for damage to the environment or related procedures.
- Legal advice regarding homestead status of real property or proceedings involving that status and services related to protected homestead.
- Involvement in fiduciary, employee, or attorney compensation disputes.
- Advice on proceedings involving ancillary administration of assets not subject to administration in this estate.
Avoid Problems and Pitfalls in the Administration of an Estate. Contact Us Today
Contact our law office, in West Palm Beach, Florida, to learn how we can help with your personal representative role.