If you have suffered the loss of a family member, the word “probate” is probably among the myriad details that you are facing at this difficult time in your life. Simply stated, probate is the legal process ensuring the proper compilation of the decedent’s assets, notification of creditors, payment of liabilities, and distribution of the remaining assets to rightful heirs. While certain items, such as jointly held property and non-taxable gifts made not exceeding $11,000 during the deceased’s lifetime, are not subject to probate, probate largely applies in most cases. While many think that a decedent’s estate can only go through probate if there is no will in place, the estate may go through the process whether or not a will exists – if the estate is large enough and a valid plan is not in place for avoiding probate.
The probate process typically encompasses numerous steps and can range from the simplest matters to protracted court battles involving significant amounts of time – from 6 to 18 months – and considerable money, but not all probate proceedings are alike. Florida probate law recognizes several different processes, depending on the specific circumstances involved in each particular case, and this is why it is of utmost importance to have a qualified, experienced attorney involved in every step and process as early as possible. The Probate Lawyers at the Fenstersheib Law Group, P.A. have successfully handled hundreds of South Florida cases over the past three decades, and are ready to assist you in ensuring that your loved one’s properties and assets are distributed according to his/her wishes, as quickly as possible. Contact us at 1-800-TellRobert for a free initial consultation and outline of the necessary steps and different alternatives available in the probate process. Our phones are answered 24 hours a day, 7 days per week.