Probate and Trust Settlement

We provide care & empathy in the Probate Process when a loved dies

We understand that it is a difficult time for you and your family when a loved one passes away. Nothing can be more stressful and heartbreaking than the loss of a loved one. Unfortunately, the grieving process leaves little room for major decisions that are thrust upon you.

When a loved one passes away, and his or her estate plan consisted only of a will, or worse yet, no will or other estate plan, his or her estate often goes through a court-supervised process called probate or estate administration where the assets of the deceased are managed and distributed. Thankfully, Kevin Hernandez, Esq., at The Hernandez Law Firm, P.A. in Clearwater, Florida walks you through the entire Probate process so it goes as smoothly as possible. We work with the personal representative (the court-appointed executor or executrix) to ensure your loved one’s wishes are respected.

The length of time needed to complete the probate or estate administration depends on the size and complexity of the estate and the local rules of the probate court. While every probate or estate administration is unique, most involve the following steps:

  • Filing a petition for estate administration
  • Filing a petition to determine homestead property
  • Serving notice to heirs and resolving will disputes
  • Collecting and inventorying all probate property
  • Paying estate debts to rightful creditors
  • Selling of estate assets and paying estate taxes, if necessary
  • Distributing assets to heirs and closing the estate

Bypassing probate with trusts and trust settlement

If your loved one owned his or her assets in our well-drafted and properly funded living trust, it is likely that no probate or estate administration is necessary, except for maybe a petition to determine homestead and procedures to shorten the creditor claims period. For all types of trusts, at death of the trust creator or beneficiary, trust settlement (sometimes referred to as trust administration) is required. Through our trust settlement process we guide and counsel the you, as successor trustee  or beneficiary, in the administration of the trust assets as provided in the trust agreement and applicable federal and state law.

Contact us for a smooth probate or trust settlement process

I hope you’ll take the next step and meet with us. We always make time to sit down with folks who want to learn more about what we do.

We can help, so call us at 727-712-1710.  We look forward to meeting you!


© 2023 The Hernandez Law Firm, P.A.
28059 U.S. Highway 19 North, Suite 101, Clearwater, FL 33761-2633
| Phone: 727-712-1710 | 800-478-2802

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