Experienced Florida Probate, Wills, Trusts and Estates Attorneys
With 18 years of experience, we possess in-depth knowledge about all aspects of probate, wills, trusts and estates issues, including:
- Estate planning
- Estate tax issues
- Gift tax planning
- Executorship duties
- Last will and testament
- Living wills
- Living trusts
- Advanced healthcare directives
- Durable powers of attorney
- Probate administration
- Trust law
- Ancillary probate
- Probate and will disputes
- Wills drafting and execution
We advise you on the best approach to your estate planning and thoroughly analyze your estate to strategize the best means of transferring your assets, minimizing taxes, establishing guardianship for your children, supporting personal philanthropic causes and protecting your loved ones. Seek advice from Colleen M. Duris, P.A.
Drafting your last will and testament
A will is essential at every stage of your life. Your will provides you with the opportunity to distribute your property, establish care for your children and otherwise express your wishes upon your death. A will is necessary if you intend to leave property to somebody besides a blood relative, such as a domestic partner, a friend or a charity. If you die without a will, the court will determine how your property is distributed, who cares for your children and even what happens to your beloved pet, decisions that might not reflect your desires. We can draft a valid will that ensures your intentions are honored.
We help people create trusts to ensure that their assets are properly managed and held for the future use of their family members or designated beneficiaries.The assets held by a trust can be used to pay for necessary medical and educational expenses for the trust's beneficiaries. Because a trust is designed to exist for a certain period of time, the courts require that a trustee be chosen to administer and assume responsibility for the management of the trust. Trusts may be included in your will or as a separate legal entity. Sometimes trusts are used to avoid the probate process or to minimize estate and income taxes.
The process of probate
The process of probate typically accompanies a painful emotional loss. Colleen M. Duris, P.A. can ease the stress of probating the estate.
We assist executors in all steps of the complex process of probating a will in Florida probate court, including:
- Creating a plan of action to probate the estate fairly and expeditiously
- Filing the will with the Florida probate court
- Closing and opening bank accounts
- Transferring assets from the deceased to the estate
- Paying taxes and other debts
- Locating beneficiaries
- Hiring professionals and experts when necessary
The stress of a probate dispute can compound the pain of losing a loved one. When disputes arise, our composed courtroom demeanor can calm the emotionally charged process of challenging an invalid will or defending a valid will against erroneous claims made by unhappy beneficiaries. If you choose to preserve amiable family relationships, our attorneys can skillfully mediate disputes to reach just, equitable resolutions with your loved ones. When necessary, we assertively defend your beneficiary rights within the Florida probate court.