GAINESVILLE ‒ About one in 20 residential properties in the city of Hawthorne are at risk of entering the costly and lengthy probate legal process. The Alachua County Property Appraiser’s Office will be hosting its second Probate and Estate Planning Summit on Aug. 18, 2022, at 6 p.m. at Hawthorne Middle/High School, 21403 S.E. 69th Avenue.

This event will feature an interactive panel discussion led by representatives from the Alachua County Clerk of Court, the Alachua County Tax Collector, Alachua County Commissioner Anna Prizzia, the University of Florida Levin College of Law and Three Rivers Legal Services Inc.

Each panelist will discuss how their respective offices are directly impacted by the extensive probate process and how many individuals can opt to create estate plans that are aimed at allowing assets to pass outside of the probate process.

“In February 2022, we launched our initial summit to help families affected by the financial burden of the probate and estate planning process,” said Alachua County Property Appraiser Ayesha Solomon. “This momentum spurred us to share approaches and evidence-based practices that have shown promise for reducing the 6.5 percent of properties in the area that are currently at risk of entering the probate process.”

The Alachua County Property Appraiser’s Office formulated this initiative through a dual data driven approach that identified all the parcels that are classified as heirs’ property throughout the county, as well as parcels with only one remaining owner listed on the property suggesting a lack of proper estate planning.

After successfully analyzing both data sets, two heat maps were created to showcase the “hot spot” areas in the county that are affected the most by these issues.

Hawthorne City Manager Wendy Sapp said, “We hope that our community will benefit from this initiative and be able to walk away with information and resources that will help them navigate through probate and estate planning.”

The Alachua County Property Appraiser’s Office will be practicing social distancing measures to minimize the risk of COVID-19 to guests.

The Alachua County Property Appraiser’s Office ensures that all taxable property in the county is assessed equitably and at its fair market value in accordance with Florida statutes. The Property Appraiser’s Office has two locations: 515 N. Main Street in Gainesville and 15010 N.W. 142nd Terrace in Alachua.

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