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Florida Probate & Estates

Barbara Buxton, Esquire, is a Miami Probate Attorney and Estate Planning Attorney with offices in Miami-Dade and Broward County, Florida. With an Estate Planning Master of Laws degree (LL.M.) from the University of Miami, Ms. Buxton excels at helping clients with all aspects of Miami Dade Probate and Broward and Palm Beach County Probate, Ancillary Probate, Summary Probate, Inheritance, Florida Estate Administration, Trust Administration, and litigation related to these areas.

If you need a Probate Attorney in Miami, Aventura, North Miami Beach, North Miami, Sunny Isles Beach, Golden Beach, Miami Lakes, Miami Springs, Miami Beach, Hialeah, Coral Gables or any city in Miami-Dade County, please call 305-932-2293; If you need a Broward County, Pembroke Pines, Coconut Creek, Tamarac, Pompano Beach, Fort Lauderdale or Hollywood Probate Attorney, please call 954-760-7077; Elsewhere: email [email protected] for Florida probate and inheritance help and we will promptly contact you.

Probate is a court supervised process of distributing property as directed in a will or in accordance with the law if no will exists. The goal is to take title out of a deceased person’s name and to put it into a living person’s name. Since there is court supervision of the entire process, the heirs/beneficiaries can be assured of a full and fair valuation and distribution of the estate. Probate is necessary whenever a deceased person leaves titled assets in his/her name alone, including a South Florida home or condo. Though this explanation of Probate may seem simple, the process usually is not. In a typical Probate there are a number of different persons interested in the Probate estate. The most common are creditors, family members, beneficiaries, the surviving spouse, attorneys, the judge, and the personal representative for the estate. Each person has a different interest in the Probate that is protected by law. Because of those protected interests, the steps undertaken to complete a Probate can be lengthy and time-consuming.

We take pride in our strong and active practice in the areas of probate, trust, and administration. Our concern for the wishes of decedents and trust grantors, together with our sensitivity to the needs of heirs and beneficiaries, is the cornerstone of our probate practice. Our firm represents fiduciaries, beneficiaries, and heirs in Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach County probate courts and surrounding Florida probate courts. On behalf of the personal representative of an estate, we collect the decedent’s assets, file the necessary pleadings to admit a decedent’s will to probate, prepare all documents and filings required under Florida laws and procedures, handle creditor claims, prepare final income tax returns and inventory for the estate, as well as any required estate tax returns, and notify companies that need to know about the death.

If the decedent created a Trust then the trustee is responsible for implementing the terms of the trust and filing a Notice of Trust with the court. Trust administration does not usually require court pleadings or filings, but many of the same administration, distribution or tax issues are present and require attention. In this area, we counsel fiduciaries regarding the rights and interests of beneficiaries, and recommend steps or actions to help the fiduciary operate the trust in compliance with the appropriate fiduciary laws and avoid personal liability for their actions, or inaction.

Even if an estate does not require a probate administration, all estates must be settled. There are still documents to be filed, debts and taxes to be paid and assets to be distributed. Estate Administration is the process by which a decedent’s total estate, which includes both probate and non-probate assets, is settled. Probate assets are properties that were owned by the decedent that were not owned “jointly” with survivorship rights by another. Non-probate assets are property held in a revocable trust, joint assets, life insurance policies, retirement accounts, annuities, homestead property, automobiles, boats, etc. Some assets do not go through probate but are considered part of the estate for federal estate tax purposes, therefore if an estate is taxable, a Form 706 must be filed.

We take special care during these difficult times to compassionately guide family members and beneficiaries through the probate process and promptly address any questions and concerns. Probate can be a frustrating and complicated affair for anyone to handle on his or her own, especially when dealing with the loss of a loved one. It is always advisable to consult with an attorney to assist you in the probate process.

Florida law requires that virtually all estates have a probate attorney or probate law firm assist with the estate administration. As a Miami probate attorney, Broward County probate lawyer and Estate Planning Master of Laws, Barbara Buxton is available to help with all probate and estate matters to settle an estate from start to finish and to probate Miami and South Florida property. Please contact our office if you need help with an inheritance or a probate attorney in Miami, Aventura, North Miami Beach, North Miami, Sunny Isles Beach, Miami Shores, Miami Springs, Miami Lakes, Hialeah, Miami Beach or Coral Gables and let us know how we can assist you with your inheritance or Miami probate matter. In Miami-Dade County, please call 305-932-2293. If you need an inheritance or probate attorney in Hollywood, Pembroke Pines, Fort Lauderdale, Lauderhill, Pompano Beach, Coconut Creek, Coral Springs, Tamarac, Margate, Sunrise, Deerfield Beach or any city in Broward County, please call954-760-7077. We look forward to the opportunity to help you with your legal needs.

Miami Probate Attorney and Fort Lauderdale Estate Planning Lawyer, Barbara Buxton, primarily assists clients in Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach Counties, but can also assist Florida residents, those owning property in Florida and families nationwide with South Florida Estate and Probate administration and probate throughout Florida. Please feel free to contact our office if you or a family member is in need of legal assistance with a Miami, Broward or Palm Beach County Probate, Estate or inheritance matter. Florida residents outside of South Florida, and Out-of-state residents, please email: [email protected] and we will promptly contact you.