attorney fees

by Linda
(Richland, WA USA)

If there are not enough estate assets left to pay all attorney fees (Florida), what happens?

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Jan 03, 2013
attorney fees

Every state including Florida has a legally required order in which the expenses related to the probating of someone's estate must be paid. The executor or administrator of the estate is legally responsible for respecting that order and will have violated probate law if he or she does otherwise. The expenses are paid out of the estate of the deceased -- the assets that the deceased owned at the time of his or her death.

Here is a summary of the order in which things must be paid in Florida starting with what must be paid first, second, third, etc:

#1. Funeral expenses

#2. Administration expenses. These expenses include attorney fees.

#3. Any federal taxes owed

#4. Deceased's unpaid medical expenses

#5. Debts and taxes given priority under Florida law.

#6. Legitimate claims filed by other creditors of the deceased

NOT UNTIL all of the above is paid can any of the deceased's assets be transferred to others. In some instances, all of those assets will be used to pay the expenses. If there is not enough to pay everything, then the unpaid creditors will receive less than they are entitled to or nothing at all unless some of the obligations are joint obligations, in which case the other borrower would be responsible for paying what the deceased's estate could not.

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