We know how stressful and emotionally stressful a family death can be. Having to go through estate-related issues while undergoing the feeling of losing a loved one only compounds the pain. In such circumstances, having a compassionate, experienced, and well-known probate attorney in Fort Lauderdale by your side can significantly help.
The attorney will help you protect your loved one’s assets while keeping you from the complexities of Florida State law. Let’s take a few minutes to understand what you can expect during the process and why hiring a Miami probate attorney will be an excellent decision.
What are testate and intestate situations?
Before we get into the probate process and understand how it works, we need to understand the difference between testate and intestate situations. A testator, in this case, is a person who created a will before passing. The person responsible for the probate process and administration of the testator’s probate estate is a personal representative. Intestate is when a person passes without a will or had a legally invalid will.
Remember, the rules regarding the timeframe of filing a probate suit are different in different states. Not just a timeframe, the regulations that render a will valid are also different. Therefore, we suggest you connect with our probate attorney in Miami and understand the probate laws of Florida. Our lawyers will help you speed up the process and do the job effectively.
As attorneys, we will first review the legal documents, including wills and trusts, to determine if the documents are valid. Next, we will review the contents to understand the severity of the probate case. Next, our attorneys will examine the documents to determine the signature's authenticity. Next, we look at whether or not the documents were freely signed. Finally, we make sure there's no forced execution of the documents.
Upon a proper in-depth review, we will discuss the possibilities with the personal representative and clarify the steps that need to be taken, especially when the probate distribution is a matter of contest. Of course, our attorneys will also help if you need to contest the probate distribution.
This is when the person dies without a will, or the court renders the will legally invalid. Florida has several intestacy probate laws that will come into play in such cases. In this case, the process of distributing the probate estate assets is generally lengthier and more complicated. This is mainly because the court must identify and locate the assets and potential heirs.
We highly recommend you hire a highly qualified Miami probate lawyer that can advise you properly and guide you throughout the process. Contact us to book an appointment, and we will help you get started!
As your probate attorney, we will help remove the stress of filing a probate case and even save you time and money. We will effectively lighten the load and do all the legwork for you. Here are some of the services we offer as your probate attorney in Fort Lauderdale —
- We provide complete legal assistance for estate executors and family members.
- We will effectively locate and secure the assets (probate or non-probate).
- Our attorney will help you obtain the death certificate, values, and appraisals of the decedent's property.
- We will help get a tax ID number for the estate.
- Our lawyers will help make the proper elections related to retirement plans, IRAs and 401(k)s, rollovers, and more.
- We will notify the insurance and other companies required to collect the proceeds.
- Create a bundle of all the essential documents the Florida state court requires.
- Help settle or litigate disputes among beneficiaries.
- Execute proper distribution of the assets to the beneficiaries.
These tasks are just the tip of the iceberg. Applicable state probate laws require several other essential tasks. We suggest hiring a probate lawyer to ensure the case proceedings are handled professionally and properly. Schedule a free consultation with us today!
Now that you are well-acquainted with probate cases, it's time we learn how formal probate administration or probate process works. Let's discuss the steps in detail, shall we?
- The person nominated in the decedents will files a petition in the probate court to become the legal personal representative of the estate.
- Upon verification, the court will run several checks and appoint a personal representative.
- The court will now ensure two groups are in the case. First is the group of people who will inherit the estate under the will. Second is the group of people that will stand to inherit if the will is rendered invalid by the court.
- The court acknowledges the personal representative and provides it the Letters of Administration. This document gives the representative the authority to deal with creditors and debtors (third parties in the probate case).
- The personal representative will file the decedents will and testament in the probate court.
- The court will use witnesses and notarized statements to render the will valid. This is important as the need for an important document can make the court declare the will invalid.
- The next step is to inventory the assets. The personal representative must do that while collecting the debts and paying the creditors.
- Once done, the representative will submit the document with the final accounting of the assets. The document will also mention the plan for appropriate asset distribution.
- The plan is distributed among the interested parties. The parties having objections can file a dispute with the probate court.
- If no objections are filed, the personal representative is free to distribute the estate assets as per the plan legally.
- The personal representative will now submit the report and evidence of proper estate administration to the probate court, requesting it to close the probate.
These steps can be overwhelming for someone new to court proceedings. Please hire a suitable probate attorney, Miami, who can do all the paperwork and ensure you don't make mistakes along the way. Connect with us to get started!
A probate litigation can be initiated by interested parties on some of the common grounds such as —
- Alleging that the will is fraudulent or has been forcefully signed by the decedent.
- Alleging that the decedent was mentally or physically incompetent while creating or amending the will.
- Situations wherein the creditors of the estate file disputes.
- Situations when parties involved allege the personal representative of misconduct, fraud, or mismanagement of the assets.
Free Consultation | Hire a Miami probate lawyer
If you are looking for the services provided by a probate attorney, you need to give us a call and book an appointment as soon as possible. We offer a free 30-minute consultation to give you an idea of our expertise in handling probate cases. So save time. Give us a call and get started!