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Probate is a legal process during which a deceased person’s will is validated by a court. During the probate process, a deceased person’s estate must be appraised, debts must be paid, bills and taxes must be paid, and the remaining assets and cash must be distributed to named beneficiaries in the will. If your loved one has recently passed away and has left a will, the will may need to go through probate. Legal Counsel, P.A. employs a probate lawyer in Orlando, Florida who can help you with each step of the probate process. The passing of a loved one can be incredibly stressful and emotional. You may be facing a range of challenges all at once, from the stress and emotions of making final arrangements to questions about distributing a loved one’s assets in accordance with their wishes. If you have been named an executor of a will, you have a duty to honor the deceased person’s wishes in accordance of the Last Will and Testament. Our probate lawyer at Legal Counsel, P.A. in Orlando, Florida, can help you with this process. Have questions? We have answers. Contact Legal Counsel, P.A. today at 407-982-4321.
If your loved one has passed away and left a will or if you have been named executor of an estate, you may be required to oversee the probate process. Probate is a legal process during which a will must be validated by the court, the deceased person’s final debts must be paid, taxes are paid, and assets are distributed to heirs. What are the steps of the probate process?
When probate goes smoothly, these are some of the steps that must be followed. However, if the deceased person had property in different states, the will may need to go through probate in several states. If there is no will, then a state’s intestate laws will apply. What are these laws? Have questions? We have answers. Contact Legal Counsel, P.A. today at 407-982-4321.
Florida’s intestate laws govern how a deceased person’s assets and property will be distributed if there is no will. Some property and assets won’t need to go through Florida’s intestate laws if there is no will. Any property placed in a trust, any life insurance amounts where there is a designated beneficiary also won’t need to go through intestate probate laws. Retirement account funds, any funds held in accounts that transfer to another named party upon the owner’s death, or any shared bank accounts and property owned by two or more parties also won’t have to go through intestate laws. Some families may worry that they might have to go through a long, drawn-out court battle, only to learn that intestate laws don’t apply in their case because the only assets of value are assets that transfer immediately upon death.
However, if there is property that isn’t transferred upon death like the above properties and assets, then intestate laws apply. Generally intestate law in Florida works as follows. If you have a spouse and pass away, your spouse will receive all your assets. If you have children and you want to ensure that your children receive your assets in addition to your spouse, you may need to draft a will. However, if you have children from another marriage and pass away, under intestate laws, your current spouse will receive half your property and your children from your previous marriage will receive the other half of your property. If you have children but no spouse and no other descendants, then assets are distributed among the children. Intestate laws can get complex when a person has been married more than once, or when a person has children from multiple partners. If you have questions about Florida’s intestate succession laws and how they will impact a probate process, consider speaking to the probate lawyer at Legal Counsel, P.A. in Orlando, Florida today. Have questions? We have answers. Contact Legal Counsel, P.A. today at 407-982-4321.
What are some complex probate issues that can arise? One situation is where a person owns property in more than one state. If this is the case, the will may need to go through probate in more than one state. Another instance where complex probate issues can arise is when a family owns a business and the business interest needs to pass to a spouse or to children. Another situation where probate can get complex is where one beneficiary or multiple beneficiaries question the validity of the will. A will must be written when a person is of sound mind and must not be written under duress. A will must be signed by witnesses. If a person wrote a will alone and signed it themselves, the will could be challenged. Yet another situation where the probate process can get complex is if the executor decides he or she doesn’t want the job of being executor of the estate. Another executor may need to be appointed. Errors in a will or other unexpected issues can also arise during probate.
If a loved one has recently passed away, you and your family may be facing one of the most challenging times of your life. The idea of facing a court hearing to distribute your loved one’s assets can be understandably overwhelming. Fortunately, you are not alone. Our probate lawyer at Legal Counsel, P.A. in Orlando, Florida can assist you with the probate process. You don’t have to navigate this process alone.
There are two types of probate processes in Florida. There is summary administration and formal administration. Summary administration is a simplified probate process that is available only if the deceased person’s estate is below a certain value, or if the person has been deceased for at least two years. Real estate may be exempt from the valuation of the estate if it qualifies for Florida’s homestead exemption. In most cases, families will use the formal administration probate process. If you are not sure which process you should use, contact our probate lawyer at Legal Counsel, P.A. in Orlando, Florida and our probate lawyer can review your situation and help guide you into the probate process that is right for your family. Have questions? We have answers. Contact Legal Counsel, P.A. today at 407-982-4321.