Florida Probate Lawyer

When an individual passes away in Florida with a significant number of assets, the estate must undergo a process referred to as “probate.” Probate is the court-supervised process of identifying and gathering the assets of the deceased, paying off the deceased’s debts, and distributing the deceased’s assets accordingly. Because the probate process can be extremely complicated, and because it requires a thorough understanding of Florida probate code, many families find it helpful to hire a Florida probate lawyer to assist them throughout the process.


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Is Probate Necessary for All Florida Estates?

Probate is only necessary if an estate contains probate assets, which are assets owned solely by the deceased at the time of his or her death. If the deceased assets was jointly owned by a spouse or other descendants, those assets are not subject to probate administration.

Probate only becomes necessary when an individual with significant assets dies but leaves no designation as to how to deal with these assets upon his or her death. For instance, if an individual were the sole owner of a house, a bank account with $100,000, and several high-end sports cars, and he or she passed away, Florida law would require this individual’s assets to go through probate. At the end of the process, that individual’s home, money, and cars are dispersed among the descendant’s circle of family and loved ones.

Is Probate Necessary if there is a Will?

Unfortunately, so long as an individual holds assets solely in his or her name at the time of their death, the estate must go through probate. A will is necessary in that it provides instructions on how the assets of an estate should be distributed – including the guardianship of minors. Probate, however, protects the rights of creditors and entitled beneficiaries. A will is helpful in that it speeds up the probate process, thereby reducing the final cost of probate.

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Do I Need to Hire a Probate Attorney?

At the beginning of the probate process, a personal representative is assigned to the estate. If the deceased had a will and named the person or institution they would like to serve as their personal representative in that will, then that named person shall assume responsibility for the probate process. However, if there was no will, or if a personal representative was not named in the will, the courts will appoint a personal representative. Typically, the descendant’s spouse is the first choice, but if the descendant was not married, or if his or her spouse declines the position, the descendant’s heirs will be given the chance to choose a personal representative. If they cannot agree on any one individual, a judge will appoint an eligible representative.

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Why Choose Us?

The personal representative of the estate should always retain the help of a qualified lawyer, as many legal issues can arise during probate The three most common probate issues include disputes over the validity of the will, concerns that another will exists, or disputes over the value of the property’s assets, just to name a few.

It can be difficult for a non-attorney to adequately resolve legal issues that arise such as these, making a probate lawyer a valuable asset. Your probate attorney can use his knowledge and experience to assist the personal representative in executing their rights and duties while remaining in adherence with probate law.

Consulting Legal Counsel

K. Hunter Goff, P.A. is an experienced Florida probate lawyer that is well-versed in probate law. He has the skills and experience necessary to assist you and your loved ones throughout the probate process. If you are in need of a Florida probate attorney to help you with any and all aspects of the probate process, contact The Law Office of K. Hunter Goff, P.A. at 407-898-8225, for your free case evaluation.

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