As probate and estate lawyers, through years of experience, we understand how to handle estate claims and to advise personal representatives, also known as executors, and the beneficiaries of an estate on how to settle all of the final affairs of a deceased person, known as a decedent.
As your probate lawyers, also known as an estate lawyer or an estate attorney, we are responsible for taking a personal representative through the entire probate process from start to finish.
The steps involved in probating an estate are based upon Florida’s probate laws, where the decedent lived at the time of death, as well as, any other states where the decedent owned real estate. For instance, in Florida two different types of probate processes are allowed by state law depending on the value of the decedent’s probate estate and how long the decedent has been deceased. The steps required for probate will also differ based on whether the decedent died testate, meaning with a valid last will and testament, or intestate, meaning without a valid last will and testament. Therefore, as your probate lawyers, we are well versed in the probate laws of Florida.
Note that as your probate lawyers, we also advise the beneficiary(ies) of an estate on legal and other matters presented to the beneficiary(ies) by the personal Representative during the course of the probate process. Know that as your probate lawyers, we also advise and represent personal representatives and beneficiaries of an estate if they become involved in separate lawsuits related to the decedent’s estate or when a beneficiary challenges the validity of the decedent’s last will and testament through a will contest.
When representing the personal representative of an estate, we advise and assist with:
- Locating and securing both probate assets and non-probate assets
- Obtaining date of death values and appraisals of all of the decedent’s property
- Preparing and filing all documents required by the probate court in a timely manner
- Collecting life insurance proceeds
- Advising on the payment of the decedent’s final bills and outstanding debts
- Keeping track of the estate ‘s checking account
- Settling disputes among personal representatives, beneficiaries and creditors
- Assisting with the sale of estate property
- Requesting court permission for various actions as required by our state probate laws
- Distributing what’s left of the decedent’s assets to the beneficiaries after paying bills and taxes