At Berman & Berman, P.A., our attorneys have over 50 years of combined experience drafting estate plans and administering probate on behalf of clients across the state of Florida. Over the decades, we have noticed certain questions recur more frequently than others.
Estate Planning & Administration FAQ
What is "estate planning?"
In short, estate planning is the process by which you establish management and distribution of your assets after your death or in the event you become incapacitated. With the assistance of an experienced attorney, you can arrange for your real and personal property to be divided amongst beneficiaries of your choosing. For more information on the topic, visit our Estate Planning page.
What is “probate?”
Probate is a legal process that occurs after a person passes. It involves proving the validity of a will, identifying the deceased’s real and personal property, an appraisal of the property, paying taxes/debts, and administering the estate. For more information, visit our Probate and Estate Administration page.
I just moved to Florida, do I need to update my will?
In Florida full faith and credit is given, which means your will will carry over from another state. But feel free to take advantage of our free consultation. Our trusted Florida estate planning attorneys can let you know if you need to update.
I have a will, do I still need to go to probate?
A will directs the probate court as to how assets should be distributed. The probate court only has jurisdiction over assets that are not in the trust, do not have beneficiary designations and are not in joint names. Any asset owned by a decedent in his or her own name will go through probate (houses are commonly subject to this process). There are simple ways to get a house, or any other asset, out of probate. For a free consultation, contact Berman & Berman, P.A., today.
What’s the difference between a will and a trust?
Wills and trusts are both estate planning devices that serve different ends. The main difference is that a will goes into effect only after you pass. A trust may be distributed while you are alive. Wills also pass through probate, whereas trusts can be distributed outside of the probate process and do not need to be overseen by the court.
How does your firm charge?
For most cases outside of IRS representation and probate litigation, a flat fee is given. We believe a client knowing how much services cost upfront, and not being afraid to ask questions, is beneficial to everyone.