Wesley Chapel Probate Lawyer
When an individual dies, the assets that they left behind go into probate. Probate allows the courts to ensure that the deceased’s will is valid and that all debts are paid off and assets are divided properly. At this point the court may also appoint a personal representative to settle the deceased’s estate. According to the Florida Supreme Court, every personal representative, unless the personal representative remains the sole interested party, is required to be represented by a Florida probate attorney. The exception to this rule being attorneys who practice in Florida and wish to represent themselves. Our Wesley Chapel probate lawyers here at The Law Office of Laurie R. Chane can assist you with all of the tasks associated with probate. We aim to help you settle the estate quickly and efficiently, but we are also prepared to handle any probate litigation in the event that another party contests the will.
Requirements Generally Associated with Probate
- Determine all assets that should be included in probate;
- Provide notice to all creditors who may have claims against the estate;
- Settle claims against the estate (some may have to go through litigation);
- Pay taxes, fees, and expenses on behalf of the estate;
- Hire the necessary professionals required to manage probate such as an attorney or accountant;
- Distribute the estate according to the terms of the will; and
- Prepare the estate’s final tax return.
Reason Why Probate Litigation May Occur
Wills can become contested when an heir is omitted from the will or a beneficiary does not receive the inheritance they expected they would. When a person is afraid that they will not be notified of a will being admitted into probate, they may even go as far as to file a caveat with the court in advance. According to Florida Statute 731.110, a caveat can be filed before or after the death of someone when an interested party wants to know about the estate. A caveat filed before death expires after two years. Reasons a person may have for contesting a will include:
- The testator was not of sound mind or judgement when making the will;
- The will was executed under duress, fraud, or coercion;
- Another person such as a family member or caregiver influenced the outcome of the will; or
- The testator made an error when creating the will.
Contact a Wesley Chapel Probate Lawyer Today
After a death, emotions can run high and it is a large responsibility to be named a personal representative of an estate. There are a lot of details to consider when going through probate for a will and it helps to have the skill and experience of a probate attorney to help guide you. For instance, not all property needs to go through probate and the fewer items that need to go through probate, the quicker the process will be. The Wesley Chapel probate lawyers at The Law Office of Laurie R. Chane can help you title property in a manner to avoid a lengthy, expensive, and contentious probate. Call us today at 352-567-0055 to schedule a meeting.