Probate can be a complex process if you have never experienced it before. The role of the probate courts is to ensure that a decedent’s property moves to the right parties according to their testamentary documents and the state’s inheritance laws. A substantial amount of money and property can transfer through this process, so it is no wonder that many people will need to take action to protect their rights during probate.
This is where a Little Gables estate litigation lawyer may be able to help. One of our knowledgeable probate attorneys will evaluate the documents and other evidence present in your case to determine your rights under the law. If necessary, they will make arguments in court in favor of the outcome you are seeking.
Litigating the Actions of Personal Representatives
All estates that move through probate must have a personal representative. A personal representative is the person responsible for maintaining estate property while probate is ongoing and distributing that property to the correct parties at the proper time. These individuals may gain this role through nomination in a decedent’s will, while others are nominated through the probate court.
In either instance, they have an obligation under the law to act with only the best interests of the estate in mind. According to Florida Statute § 733.602, personal representatives must take all actions needed to help estate property retain its value. They must then distribute estate assets in a timely manner. A personal representative who fails in this obligation is personally liable for all reductions in an estate’s value.
A Little Gables estate litigation attorney can evaluate the actions of a personal representative, both on behalf of the representative or on behalf of a potential beneficiary. They can then make their case in court so that the probate process can play out fairly and accurately according to the decedent’s wishes.
Estate Litigation For the Formation and Validity of Wills
One major role of probate courts and Judges in Little Gables is to determine a decedent’s wishes for what will happen to their property. In most cases, this involves evaluating the legality and authenticity of a last will and testament, if one exists.
A will is a testamentary document that determines a person’s wishes for their property after their death. Under state law, a will is presumably valid if it contains the signature of the testator, as well as those of two witnesses
However, any interested party may contest the validity of a will in probate court. Under Fla. Stat. § 732.5165, people can argue that a will is invalid due to it being the product of fraud, duress, or undue influence. If a probate court invalidates a will for these or any other reasons, it will revert to a decedent’s previous will or use the state’s intestacy laws to distribute estate property. An estate litigation lawyer in Little Gables is ready to fully explain the laws that control the validity of wills and acts to protect the rights of heirs during probate hearings.
Reach Out to a Little Gables Estate Litigation Attorney Today
Probate is your only chance to protect your property rights after a person’s death. Probate courts can hear challenges to the authenticity of an alleged will, as well as evaluate the actions of personal representatives tasked with the administration of an estate. In both examples, beneficiaries have the right to ask a court to determine your rights and distribute the property to which you are entitled under state law.
Contact our office and speak to a Little Gables estate litigation lawyer during a free consultation. The Florida Probate & Family Law Firm is prepared to listen to your concerns, explain the state’s probate laws, and represent your interests in court.