Probate and Trust Administration
When an individual passes on, the estate is composed of the sum of all property and assets combined. Often times, with or without a will (a document outlining how their assets should be dispersed) the estate must go through a process known as probate.
What is Probate?
Probate is a legal process or proceedings, in which a deceased individual’s estate is distributed to heirs or beneficiaries, and all debts or taxes are paid off.
Probate involves a series of different steps:
1. An executor or administer is appointed to manage the estate, once an individual has passed on. He or she is usually named in the will, if not, or there is no will – then the court may appoint someone.
2. Once the will is proven valid, by the state laws – the assets and property is then cataloged and inventoried. The property and all assets are then appraised.
3. Any debts and taxes the deceased individual might have owed, prior to their passing are then paid.
4. All remaining assets are then distributed based on the deceased individual’s will, as long as there is a will and it is legally viable and uncontested.
In many instances, individuals make the mistake of not creating a will before they pass. This can be terrible for the deceased’s estate, especially if it is a substantial estate. The assets are then distributed through a court-supervised probate process. During the probate process, individuals are allowed to challenge the will – again, in this instance, the courts are the ones to decidehow the assets are dispersed.
Why Do You Need a Lawyer During the Probate Process?
In many instances, the probate process can be quite complex and difficult to navigate. Depending on the legitimacy of a deceased party’s will, and how exactly it disperses assets, many sides will often be angered and can contest the will. In situations like this, things can often get contentious and you may need an individual to negotiate and mediate the situation on your behalf. Having a lawyer like Charles Spinner on your side can prove the difference between millions of dollars in assets and property.
This is especially the case if you are the executor of the will. It is vital that you have a lawyer on your side that has experience and an understanding of the state’s laws.
Contesting a Will
In the event you would like to contest a will, or certain aspects of that will, it is important that you have a legal team on your side with the knowledge and experience to deal with all of Florida’s complex probate laws.
A full-fledged probate lawsuit can break families apart, and while they might be necessary sometimes, they can be avoided with the help of a skilled negotiator like Charles Spinner and his team at Spinner Law Firm.
Estate planning is a necessary part of life for everyone, especially if you’ve got a legitime sized estate to leave behind. And while it can often get contentious and difficult, probate is a necessary part of it. The best thing to do is meet with an estate planning lawyer and create a will or trust to handle your assets. For more information on all your estate planning needs contact Spinner Law Firm today.