Florida Probate Procedures

Florida ProbateThe Florida Probate procedure is an organized, court supervise process that identifies and organizes the assets of a deceased person, so that any debts can be paid so that the assets that remain can be distributed to any beneficiaries or heirs.

Any assets that go through probate are first used to pay the costs of probate to the State, and next any outstanding debts are paid. Any remaining assets are then used to pay the beneficiaries of the deceased.

Some of the debts owed may include Federal and state income taxes, the balance of which will be paid from the estate proceeds.

The probate process is a necessary function in order to pass the ownership of the property of the deceased to the beneficiaries of the deceased. Any will that is made must be admitted to the probate court in order to be effective in this process. If a will is in existence, but is not admitted to the court, it will be ineffective as far as processing assets to beneficiaries.

If there is no will in existence or to be found, then probate is a necessary process in order to pass the ownership of assets to people who are supposed to receive them under the Florida probate laws.

Probate is also a necessary function in order to wind up the financial affairs of a deceased person. This process makes certain that the creditors of a deceased person are paid as long as the proper procedures under the probate laws are followed.

A person who dies without a valid will is classified as “intestate” and then the distribution of the assets will fall under the probate laws of the state of Florida.

The process for filing for a probate proceeding to begin starts with the filing of of the will and any other documents with the clerk of the circuit court, in most cases in the county where the deceased lived at the time of death.

There is a small filing fee, and that is paid to the clerk and then a file number is given so that administration of the probate process can begin. The financial records of the estate are not available to the public at large, for the purpose of protecting the beneficiaries of the deceased.

The process begins with the judge deciding as to whether or not the will, if one is presented, is a valid will. If a representative is appointed by the estate, the judge will also determine if the representative is qualified.

If significant assets are present, the judge may appoint a personal representative to be in charge of the assets. This may be a bank, a trust company, or a person who will be in charge of the administration and distribution of the assets, once the determination is made as to how that will be done.

The administrator will be in charge of gathering and identifying the assets, publishing notices to creditors and claimants.

The Florida probate process ensures that by the court overseeing the estate distribution, the assets are properly distributed and the necessary costs and taxes are paid.

Who needs a financial advisor?

financial advisorsThere is often a debate about whether or not a financial advisor is a beneficial person to have in your corner. While some agree a financial advisor is important if you’re making big investments, others think that it can be beneficial in many personal situations every person faces. Then there are some who see no value at all. You might fall into either one of these groups. Maybe you’re just not sure when or why you would need a financial advisor. If you’re navigating through this little thing we call life, chances are you have shown need for a financial advisor at some point, or might in the future. Here are some examples of those who could benefit from a financial advisor.

Busy professionals would benefit greatly from the help of a financial advisor. Not only do they have continuous investments and usually make considerable earnings, they have packed schedules. Business owners, doctors, executives, and entrepreneurs could all save themselves time and aggravation if they had a financial advisor to help them.

Anyone nearing retirement could also see a purpose in hiring an advisor. Financial advisors can help guide those gearing up for retirement when it comes to concerns of investments, various accounts, and assets such as homes and cars. This is a time in their lives when they realize they don’t have an opportunity to make any financial missteps, and value the advice of a professional.

Anyone who is newly single due to death or divorce. In these instances, they person left behind might not have previously dealt with the finances, or just might have trouble navigating the new aspect of their lives. There are new finances to consider, such as life insurance, loss of income, splitting of assets, and perhaps even management of the care of children. In such a difficult time, having the guidance of a professional would be welcomed.

This isn’t a list of the only people who should have a financial advisor, because the truth is, anyone can. These are categories of people who would find the expertise of a financial advisor beneficial given their busy or changing financial situation, but anyone can employ the help of one. Those who are newly married or living together could benefit as well, since the merging of finances and assets could prove tricky to navigate on your own. Even those with large amounts of debt could benefit by having an advisor draw up a plan to help them better save and make payments.

Difference between equipment leasing and financing

equipment-financingIf you are starting a new business or are already a successful one, chances are you are in need of some sort of equipment. It can be computers for your Tech Company, ovens or refrigerators for your bakery, or even trucks if you have a moving company.  No matter what kind of equipment you need, you also need a way to get it into your company. Since most companies can’t afford to buy necessary equipment outright, there are ways to get equipment quickly and easily to get your business off the ground or continue to have it be successful. You can either lease your equipment or finance, but what is the difference?

Think of financing and leasing equipment as if it was a car. Almost all of us have a car, what differs is the way we purchased it. If we decided to lease a car, we agreed to terms of a lease and the length, usually 5 to 7 years, and make monthly payments on the lease. At the end of the lease, we give the car back or exchange it for a newer one. If we decide to finance, we agree to a loan and the term, and once the loan is paid off in full, the car is ours. Leasing or financing equipment is very much like this.

If you decide to lease equipment, you would agree to a term and monthly payments. These payments would also factor in an interest rate, which can be anywhere from 8 percent to 30 percent. Most parameters of a lease are tax-deductible. Companies that lease equipment to you generally hold themselves responsible for regular maintenance or if any issues with the equipment arise, taking the burden off of you. Once your term has ended, you can renew your lease for a newer or more modern piece of equipment, or just walk away. Keep in mind that leasing terms are often complicated and binding, leaving no wiggle room if you want to terminate early, and often come with extra fees.

If you think financing is the best way to get your equipment, you will get a loan and make monthly payments for the decided amount of time. You are sometimes required to make a down payment. Finance loans are not tax-deductible, and you will only see write-offs for the interest you are paying toward the loan. At the end of your term, the equipment is yours to keep. You will be responsible for any upkeep, and you might even be saddled with outdated or unusable equipment, especially if your loan term is long.

Why Financial Planning is needed?


This is one of the questions that people ask us when they hear about this kind of service offered by Smile Florida. It is true that there are some who are reserved about this, but the truth is that it is indeed a needed service. It is better to be prepared for whatever expenses may come later than be sorry. The beauty of the estate and financial planning is that it will help you have access exactly to what you want – be it a new home, a new car or the vacation that you are dreaming of.

circle-fpPlanning ahead will help you not only save money but also give you a peace of mind that other people don’t have when facing a financial problem.

What you need to know

First of all, we are offering you a wide range of services. This means that we are offering estate planning, taxation, a retirement planning and also some investment strategies. Only with a wide range of specialists will you be able to achieve what you want.

How can you evaluate what it is being offered?

Our main role is to offer you the best professional advice regarding your finances. As said, we cover many areas and here is what to expect from our advisors:

  • We will give you a true evaluation of your financial position, outlining it as it stands and also describing any alternatives. Based on this, we will make some recommendations and you will be able to make a decision.
  • Together we will try to find ways to increase the value of the assets you have. This will benefit not only you, but also your family.
  • We will make estimation on your tax liability for your estate and holdings. There are possibilities to minimize the tax liabilities, so we will present them to you.
  • There is always the possibility to increase your retirement income, or better said maximize it to your benefit.
  • With a proper business planning you will be able to reduce taxation.

We respect our clients, and because of this, we are always trying to offer them the best possible solutions. This is just a part of our services, but everything depends on the clients’ needs. You will be able to talk to professional advisors, and together you will find the best way to improve your life style. It’s not a decision just for you, but also for your family, because you will be able to offer them what you have always wanted.

Choosing an estate planning or live without it


Choosing an estate planning is a must, with these days’ financial situation of the markets. It is very important to have a place that you can call ‘home’ and we can help you get it.  Whether you have just finished college or just got a job or even if you are newly wed or you want to start your own family, an estate planning will be the best thing to do.

A financial advisor will guide you along all the steps you need to take to make sure you can afford the said house. There are no hardships in making plans and talking to professional personnel. They know their job and also, they know how important it is for you to be able to afford something like this.

Once you have set your estate planning, you can start living your life as you want it. This is only the first step, because, along the way, you will see that a financial planning is needed to achieve safely what you want. As it was said at the beginning, with our help you will be able to have the house of your dreams, the most profit out of your business and a great retirement planning with plenty of income to cover your expenses.

Find out more with a meeting at Smile Florida’s headquarters.