140 South Beach Street, Suite 310
Daytona Beach, FL 32114
(386) 257-3332

1002 East New Haven Avenue
Melbourne, FL 32901
(321) 821-2321

Personal Representative

I can't say enough good things about Heidi - she 100% saved the day on a house purchase my daughter was making - there were issues with a Life Estate which my husband and I knew nothing about. Heidi not only educated me but helped the seller (their son was the Trustee) with some very complicated issues that could have potentially blown the sale. Because of Heidi's legal expertise with elder law/estates and trusts, my daughter closed on the house this week.

~ Denise M

Ms. Webb was an amazing guardian ad litem for my son. She tirelessly worked to overcome a difficult situation and worked hard to ensure what was best for him. She had no problem filing restraining orders, meeting with school officials or anything else that was necessary to ensure he go the best education. She also was a relentless moderator and setup a series of processes that have served him well. Thank you!

~ Todd C

Difference Between Estate Planning and Probate

The Difference Between Estate Planning & Probate

In my practice, I see clients that do not understand the difference between probate and estate planning. Many think having an estate plan will avoid the probate process for their heirs after they pass and while Probate Avoidance is a goal of my practice —there are times that Probate is PART of the Estate Plan.

Here are the two definitions according to the American Bar Association:

Estate Planning is a process involving the counsel of professional advisors who are familiar with your goals and concerns, your assets and how they are owned, and your family structure. It can involve the services of a variety of professionals, including your lawyer, accountant, financial planner, life insurance advisor, banker and broker.

Probate is the formal legal process that gives recognition to a will and appoints the executor or personal representative who will administer the estate and distribute assets to the intended beneficiaries.

In short, estate planning is putting together your wishes down on paper, and probate is following these wishes through the legal process after you pass. Having a drawn-up Will before death will help with this process but not always avoid it.

Assets that need to be addressed are known as probate assets and often without a Trust in place may require a probate court order to pass the title. These can include:

  • Real estate property
  • Bank accounts in the decedent’s name
  • Any interests in a corporation, limited liability company, or partnership
  • Life insurance policies or brokerage accounts without beneficiary designations

I believe the source of confusion on Estate Planning and Probate is not every Estate goes through a probate process – and while there are exceptions, not every Will will avoid probate. I will go into more detail on this topic in a future blog post.

Heidi S. Webb, Attorney at Law, serves clients all over the state of Florida with Estate Planning and Probate. She has offices in Daytona Beach and Melbourne but can meet via phone or Zoom with clients statewide. Contact her today to schedule a free consultation. Visit her page on Facebook or see what her clients are saying to learn more about Heidi at www.heidiwebb.com.

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