Pilka & Associates, P.A.
Full Service Law Firm for Tampa,
Brandon and Polk County
863-236-9321 |813-502-1097

South Central Florida Legal Blog

Does your estate qualify for summary administration?

When you hear people talking about probate, you probably hear that they are not happy about it. That is because probate is a court-supervised process for gathering and identifying assets belonging to a deceased person, and it can be frustrating. This same process is responsible for paying the debts of those who have passed away and distributing assets to the beneficiaries. If your loved one didn't have a will, then probate is probably where the estate will end up.

There are two kinds of probate administration in Florida. There is a formal administration and a summary administration. Formal probate administration only applies to assets owned by the decedent. Summary administrations generally handle smaller estates with assets worth no more than $75,000.

Don't let your homeowner's association dispute turn nasty

You and your homeowner's association (HOA) have not been doing well together. You're having constant disputes over issues that you think are unnecessary and frustrating.

You should keep in mind that being businesslike and cordial will help you in any dispute with your condo association or HOA, even if it makes you frustrated to think about the issues at hand.

Estate planning for beginners: The first steps

When you're trying to decide how to approach creating an estate plan, it may seem overwhelming. After all, there are several things that you may want to include in your estate plan and dozens of factors that influence your choices.

Try not to be too overwhelmed. The truth is that your attorney's job is to guide you, and they can help you decide what is most important to you right now and what to tackle first.

How should you handle uncivil messages from your ex?

Parents who have gone through a divorce have to remain in contact with each other while they are raising their children. This communication must always remain respectful. One option that some people use is a messaging app so that there is a record of what is said.

While messaging does have good points, it also has some challenges. It isn't always easy to determine the meaning behind certain statements. Since you can't hear voice inflections and tone of voice, someone can misconstrue the meaning.

Get a legal separation to separate yourself from your spouse

You and your spouse have been having more fights lately, and you've decided that a trial separation may be a good idea. This trial separation could be the date you use to show the court when you separated if you later decide to divorce, so it is important that you remember the date that you or your spouse move out of your home.

If you want to have an official separation noted by the court, you need to seek out a legal separation. This separation is approved by the court and documents the day you separated. A legal separation is not the same as a divorce, but the courts do recognize that a separation may lead to one. You should speak with your attorney about a legal separation if you want to be offered some protections through the court.

What is the process for probating a will?

Probate is simply a court-supervised process that authenticates a last will and testament. The probate process makes sure to locate the decedent's assets, to pay final taxes and debts and to distribute any remaining assets to the beneficiaries.

The process of probating a will is somewhat complex, which is why most people choose to work with an attorney. Here's what you should expect.

Making financial plans in your 50s: They will affect your estate

Once you've reached your 50s, it's time to start looking closely at your estate plan. There are many good financial moves to make at this stage of your life. Turning 50 is a great time to address many of these financial needs and concerns because most people are once again empty-nesters and are in the position to begin saving and paying off debt.

Once you reach 50, it's likely that you'll see retirement approaching quickly. That's why it's necessary to make a few solid financial decisions at this age. For example, paying off your debt in your 50s will serve you well in retirement, when you may be living on limited funds.

Follow these 3 tips for a better divorce

When you're going through a high-asset divorce, there are some practical tips that can help you come out ahead. Being able to approach your divorce with the right information and knowledge makes a difference so that you're able to move forward in your life knowing you made good decisions during your divorce.

Here are three practical steps to take so that your divorce moves more smoothly. Each one has its own benefits to consider.

What are some things estate administrators do?

Being appointed to administer an estate may feel overwhelming. It's a large task, but your attorney can guide you through the process if you take the time to ask.

When your loved one dies, their estate will need to be collected, managed and then distributed to those who are heirs or beneficiaries. As an estate administrator, you'll have several tasks to complete. Of them, one of the most important is inventorying the estate.

Here are 3 great reasons to make an estate plan

If you're just starting to learn about estate planning, you may have many questions. If you're younger, you may not be sure why you need a will or to set up an estate plan. If you're older, you might think the state laws will protect you.

The reality is that there are many good reasons to have an estate plan. Here are just three that you should consider.

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