Sylvia Noel White P.A. are the experienced probate lawyers in Clearwater you need to navigate the court process and other issues that arise after a loved one’s death. She has assisted countless individuals, who live and work in the greater Clearwater, Palm Harbor, Largo, and Dunedin areas, after a loved one has died. In most cases, an attorney is required to assist in the probate process.
Intestate or Testate
When there is no will, it is an intestate estate, and the probate court must then determine who is entitled to your assets (assuming there is some left over to distribute after all debts and expenses have all been paid). If you do not have a will, the laws of where you live will determine what happens to your property and assets after you die. Work with a probate lawyer in for assistance with your will so your loved ones and others are provided with the assets you wish for them to receive.
When there is a Last Will and Testament, it is a testate estate. After you die, the “will” is deposited with the clerk of court. The Court will determine that your will is legally valid. People are permitted to object to the “will”, also known as a will contest, however, by working with an experienced attorney the likelihood of a challenge is greatly diminished. An experienced lawyer can help you craft a will that explains exactly how you would like your assets to be distributed.
The Fine Details of the Probate Process
Probate is the legal system’s process of passing the property of a deceased person to their beneficiaries. If you die with assets in your name alone at the time of death then probate is required.
When a person dies, the case will be opened with a probate court. The Court will appoint a Personal Representative, also referred to as an “executor,” or “administrator.”
Your personal representative is legally responsible for:
● Notifying creditors, the public, and those who may be interested in the estate of your death;
● Preparing and filing an inventory of the estate assets;
● Paying all properly filed creditor claims filled in the estate;
● Distributing the assets to the beneficiaries;
● Filling all required documentation required by the Court.
No Probate (Disposition of Personal Property Without Administration)
Sometimes a deceased person leaves very little behind. This process allows the payer of the person’s final expenses, including the funeral and expenses of the last illness, if any, to be reimbursed from the assets of the estate. (Fla. Stat. 735.301.)
It can be used only when:
● the deceased did not own any real estate,
● the only assets are either exempt from creditors’ claims or don’t exceed the amount of final expenses.
How a Wills and Probate Attorney Can Help
A lawyer experienced in Florida’s Probate Laws can be the difference between a disaster and a smooth transition. Having an experienced lawyer can prevent your family from having to deal with added stress while grieving.
The first step in the process is consult with an experienced attorney to ensure you are on the right path.
Call Sylvia Noel White P.A. of Clearwater, Dunedin, and Palm Harbor, today for a consultation. 727.735.0645