Florida Lawyer Answering Your Probate Questions
If your parents or a loved one has recently passed away and you are left to manage their final wishes, you may end up in probate court.
The attorneys at the Law Offices of Larry E. Bray P.A., can help you through the probate process and provide the legal advice and assistance you need to ensure that your loved one's wishes are carried out properly. For more information on probate, contact us at one of our three Palm Beach locations.
What Is The Probate Process?
Probate means "to prove." It is both the type of court and the process that you'll need to follow to prove that a will is a valid document. The process can be both simple and quick or long and painful, depending on the types of assets involved or the circumstances surrounding the will's creation. Some family members may contest a will's validity.
During probate administration, you will file the will and petition the court for appointment of a personal representative. You will gather, account for and possibly sell all assets that your family member owned, including:
- Cars or boats
- Property, houses or vacation homes
- A family business
- Retirement accounts
- Life insurance
Then, any debt or taxes need to be paid and the assets that aren't sold should be distributed. Once this is completed, the estate can be closed.
What Happens if Somebody Dies Without a Will?
Asset distribution can be tricky if your family member died without leaving final instructions. The court can appoint a personal representative who distributes the family member's property in accordance with the Florida statutes. If there is a concern about who the court appoints, you may want to seek legal representation to prevent the appointment.
How Do I Avoid Putting My Family Through This Process?
If you are looking to avoid your will having to go through the probate court in the future, there are a few documents that can assist you in your planning. We can help you plan for future asset distribution that is both quick and legally valid. These probate-avoiding documents might include:
- A revocable living trust
- A life insurance policy specifically designating a beneficiary
- Jointly titling certain assets such as a bank account or investment account
- Payable on Death accounts
At the Law Offices of Larry E. Bray, P.A., we give you personalized attention. We discuss all your estate planning or probate administration needs with you so we can best protect the finances of you and your family. For more information, please contact us to schedule an initial consultation.