GAINESVILLE ‒ Nearly three in 100 residential properties in the northwest Gainesville zip codes 32605 and 32653 are at risk of entering the costly and lengthy probate legal process. To help combat these issues the Alachua County Property Appraiser’s Office will be hosting its fourth Probate and Estate Planning Summit on Sept. 14, 2023, at 6 p.m. This will take place at the Eldercare of Alachua County Senior Center located at 5701 N.W. 34th Blvd., Gainesville, FL 32653.
This ongoing collaborative initiative serves as an opportunity to be more accessible to residents who may be impacted by these issues. This interactive panel discussion features representatives from the Alachua County Clerk of Court, the Alachua County Tax Collector, 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, provide insights on preventative measures to help avoid these issues, and answer any questions the audience may have about these processes.
“With this being the fourth summit, we have had the opportunity to travel the county with this information and provide insights on resources,” Property Appraiser, Ayesha Solomon said. “Now we are back in Gainesville, which is a major hot spot area for these issues and hope to assist as many residents as possible.”
Iechia Houston, a city of Gainesville resident, began the probate process in July 2022 for a family home located on the southeast side of town. Although it has been over a year since Houston initially started this lengthy process, it is still not complete.
“The most challenging part of this process is not knowing the outcome,” Houston said. “You need to have a plan for when that final day comes so your family doesn’t have to fight to try and keep your property.”
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 the data sets, heat maps were created to showcase the “hot spot” areas in the county that are affected the most by these issues. This event is free and will be open to the general public. In addition, this event will be recorded and is subject to later use
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