Even when a decedent leaves a valid, updated will, Florida probate may become complicated, involving complex laws relating to creditors, estate valuation, and transfer of assets and property title. If the individual dies intestate (without a will), probating an estate may include resolving disputes between potential beneficiaries and determining responsibility for remaining debts.
Retaining the services of an experienced probate administration attorney is an important means to avoid potential litigation. If you recently lost a loved one and have questions about the Florida probate process, call an attorney at the Law Office of Cheryl Bucker, P.A., in Pompano Beach. Our lawyers have extensive experience across a broad range of estate law and probate matters. We offer a free consultation to explain the process and how we can help.
Resolving The Challenges Of Florida Probate
While the law does not require representation by an attorney to handle probate matters, there are solid reasons why retaining one is your best option.
- A probate attorney will efficiently move the will or estate through the process. A lawyer will understand which areas of the estate, will or trust may create possible problems in the courts or among heirs and beneficiaries and can work to resolve them outside of the courtroom. Creditors, business partners and all parties who share an interest in the estate must be legally notified of the death and probate matter. Any threats of collections actions must go through your attorneys' office. An experienced probate attorney will know the process and have the forms and documents ready.
- An experienced probate attorney will understand the emotions that often surface when dealing with relatives and lifelong friends. Whether for money or important heirlooms, even the closest family members may challenge a will or family decisions regarding passing down of such heirlooms and other property. It is essential to have a probate lawyer resolve disputes before they become long-term problems between friends and relatives.
- Final taxes will need to be filed. Even if an individual died without significant assets, there will be final documents to collect and taxes to be filed. Having an attorney handle the final taxes, debts and other financial affairs means these complex problems won't fall on one or a few individuals.
- If the decedent set up a trust or expressed a desire to establish a trust out of the estate, it is important to name a trustee who is outside of the family or removed from the sphere of influence by family members. An experienced probate attorney can serve as trustee or help your family retain an independent trustee.
- Distribution of assets from an estate is frequently not as cut-and-dried as a family hopes. Even the most updated will often overlooks key assets or uses vague language regarding the distribution of assets. A probate lawyer will have experience with such matters and can advise the family how a probate judge is likely to rule, in case a dispute goes to court.
These are just some of the reasons it is essential to hire a probate administration attorney to assist you with final affairs after the death of a loved one.
Contact Cheryl Bucker, P.A.
Please call Cheryl Bucker, P.A., in Pompano Beach to discuss your probate needs. We can be reached at 954-773-8983 or toll free 888-392-5781. You may also use the contact email form to request an opportunity to discuss the matter with one of our attorneys.