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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    NE FL

    Do-it-yourself probate...good idea, or not?

    What is the name of your state?What is the name of your state? Florida

    Hi. This is my first post here, and though I have many questions, I'll start with this one since the others hinge on it!

    My mom died unexpectantly last month and listed me as personal rep. in her simple will. Her estate matters seem fairly simple, I think.

    She had prepaid the funeral home. One of my 2 brothers is joint owner of the home, and he rightfully deserves it for helping mom out over the years. She has $180 in her bank account (SS has already withdrawn this month's stipend), her old car is worth nothing....and, her other belongings are not worth much.

    She had an annuity that she annuitized 2 months after signing the contract in 1997---she retired that year and put all her retirement $$ in that annuity, then drew a small quarterly pay-out. For the last 7 years she was under the impression that the beneficiary on the contract (my youngest brother) would receive the balance if she died before the $$ was gone---but, according to the annuity company, the $$ will be paid to her estate because she didn't list a successor/beneficiary when she annuitized.

    So, basically, it seems her estate will mainly consist of about $8000, and I'm almost certain that the only creditor will be her Capital One credit cards---which will get $4,000 (or more, if they are allowed to receive the late charge fees, and soon-to-be over-the-limit fees, due to those late charges....sigh).
    BTW, I did notify those CC people, and cancelled the cards.

    I know I could get an attorney to handle things, but I'd sure like for my brothers & me to be able to share what little is left.

    I've been researching, which is how I found these forums...but, my brain currently feels like it's liquidating into mush. Sooo, what do y'all think---would this be something I can do myself, or should I give up the notion?


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2000
    Los Angeles, California
    My response:

    Barnes & Noble has many good books on the shelf for "Do-it-yourselfers". Buy one. Follow directions carefully.


  3. #3
    sonny6 Guest
    I have been dealing with my wifes' Dads' probate (actually fighting the personal representative) and have found some great info on the web; I googled Florida probate and saw some sites similiar to the ones I found for Washington State. For an example, I've been using [url]www.washington-probate.com[/url]. I hope I did the link right, I'm new to the computer.

    Last edited by sonny6; 11-22-2004 at 11:18 AM.
  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Contact your county courthouse probate court to see if they have a simplified procedure for smaller estates--you can probably do it yourself, but you would still be smart to at least discuss/consult with a local probate attorney on an hourly basis to get your questions answered if you come up with something unfamiliar or difficult.

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