Probate is the process where a local court resolves and distributes a person’s estate after their passing. This process can involve a last will and testament, if one exists, although it often does not. You can simplify this important step by developing a plan with The Florida Probate & Family Law Firm.
One of our skilled attorneys can be an invaluable resource throughout every aspect of probate, from drafting the initial plan to dealing with the challenges of probate court. Let a Kendall probate lawyer advise you on how to move forward.
When is Probate Necessary?
Probate is not always necessary following the death of a person. It exists in situations where a person passes away while owning certain assets and is often not relevant in cases where a person passes away without assets to distribute. When there are assets to speak of that the decedent owns, probate becomes necessary. This is true whether or not that individual had a valid last will and testament at the time they passed away.
Whether there is a will or not, probate involves appointing a person to oversee the estate, known as an executor or personal representative. The Last Will and Testament likely names a specific person to fill that role. Otherwise, it is up to the court to appoint an executor.
A Kendall attorney can answer questions about the probate process and provide guidance on how to prepare for it. In some cases, they can even assist with avoiding probate entirely.
Can Probate Be Avoided?
There are numerous estate planning tools that could allow someone to avoid probate entirely. There are a number of reasons why this is in the best interest of the person creating the estate, as well as their beneficiaries. First and foremost, there are some notable costs associated with probate. This includes legal costs, tax obligations, and other expenses. It is often possible to avoid passing these costs on to the beneficiaries by removing assets from the probate process entirely through the use of a trust.
In addition, estates that are valued at $75,000 or less (or with a person who has been deceased for over two years) can be more quickly transferred through a process called summary administration probate.
What Does a Probate Lawyer Do?
The guidance of a Kendall probate attorney can be valuable in many ways. Probate can be long and an attorney can ensure that an executor or beneficiary does not miss any important steps along the way.
Collect Assets and Proceeds
Estates that go into probate have assets that belonged to the decedent during their lifetime, which a Kendall attorney can help calculate and collect. In addition to physical assets or real property, this step could also involve collecting proceeds from life insurance policies.
An important aspect of probate involves paying any creditors of the estate. A lawyer might also be able to determine if a claim from a creditor needs to be rejected.
The final step is to distribute the assets of the estate. An attorney can assist an executor with this step, which involves ensuring each beneficiary receives what was intended by the estate creator.
Contact a Kendall Probate Attorney Today
Navigating probate is difficult for many people due to the complicated rules and emotional weight from the loss of a loved one. There may also be controversies that require a neutral party to sort out.
Whether you expect to be the beneficiary of someone’s estate, are preparing your own assets for the future, or are an executor yourself, now is the time to speak to a Kendall probate lawyer. Call The Florida Probate & Family Law Firm immediately to set up a free consultation and learn your options today.