Handling every case as if it were our own
Putnam County Probate Attorney
Is Probate Required in Florida?
Probate issues are often emotionally taxing and resource-intensive experiences. After a person passes away, their possessions, assets, and liabilities are distributed in probate court according to Florida’s probate laws. Sometimes, the decedent's friends and family may not agree about the decedent’s intent regarding the administration of their testamentary estate. When this happens, it may be necessary to retain the legal services of an experienced Putnam County probate attorney for probate representation. At Hedstrom Law, P.A., our qualified lawyers can help navigate even the most complicated probate process.
Do I Need an Attorney for Probate in Florida?
Yes, in many cases an attorney is required for probate in Florida. In cases where it is not required, it is highly recommended. There are two situations in Florida where an attorney is not required:
- “Disposition without administration” is for a very small estate
- When the executor is the sole beneficiary
However, even if an attorney is not required in your situation, you will still want to get legal assistance to help you navigate the complexities of Florida’s probate law. Do not hesitate to reach out to our firm for help.
How Long Does an Executor Have to Settle an Estate in Florida
In Florida, an executor usually takes up to six months to wrap up simple estates. For standard formal administrations, it can take up to one year. For complex and litigated estates, it can take two or more years.
Here is the average time for the probate process in Florida:
- Simple estate's affairs within three months
- The formal probate administration usually takes up to a year
- Large estates can last more than two years
Suppose you do not receive an inventory and appraisal of the estate within 90 days. In that case, you should speak to a probate litigation attorney. You can ask the court to remove the executor.
During this time, an executor will be appointed, there will be a 90-day creditor period, the creditor’s claims will be paid, etc.
The probate process for very small estates can often be completed in less than one month.
What is Considered a Small Estate in Florida?
Florida considers a small estate as $75,000 or less in assets. Probate for a small estate is less complicated and usually a quicker process.
What Happens if I Don't Do Probate?
If probate is necessary, but you do not initiate the process, then you will be unable to identify the assets of the deceased person and appropriate them the way Florida law requires. If you are in a situation where probate is needed, contact our firm for questions and legal assistance.
Why Call Our Probate Lawyers?
- Free Consultations
- Relationship-Based Legal Representation
- Strong Work Ethic & a Proven Track Record
- Genuine, Experienced & Compassionate Counsel
If you are facing competing claims during the administration of your loved one’s estate in probate court, we at Hedstrom Law, P.A. can help you. We have years of experience practicing probate law, including the administration, negotiation, and in some cases, litigation of claims in probate court. At Hedstrom Law, P.A., we are dedicated to providing our clients with sound and comprehensive legal advice regarding probate matters.
Probate proceedings are governed by the Florida Probate Rules. Proceedings begin when a petition for probate administration is filed with the probate court. Notice of the petition for probate administration is then sent to those who are qualified to serve as the personal representative for the decedent.
How Long Does Probate Take in Florida?
In Florida, the probate process generally takes between 6 and 9 months. However, the length of probate varies depending on the size and complexity of the estate. For example, a simple summary probate can take a few months, while a formal probate administration can take 9-18 months. More complex probate cases can take up to 2 years, but this is rare.
The probate court will then appoint a personal representative to administer the decedent’s testamentary estate. Probate proceedings will advance into either formal administration or summary administration.
We have experience working on several probate issues including:
- Formal probate administration
- Summary probate administration
- Appointment of representatives
- Estate taxes
- Interpretation of wills
Is Probate Necessary?
Generally, it may be necessary for the estate to go through probate. Unless you have a smaller estate, you may be able to go through a more informal process under the probate court's supervision before the assets and properties can be distributed appropriately. The probate process can also help mitigate any legal issues that arise.
What Assets Must Go Through Probate?
Nearly every person has some assets that don’t necessarily need to be settled in probate. Even if you do happen to go through probate court, it may very well be likely that some assets or properties will not be included during the proceeding. For those expected to inherit this property, they may receive this quicker than expected. All of this property is known as the probate estate.
Some of the most common assets that go through probate include:
- Property owned by the deceased person -- some examples of this might be a car or some real estate
- A portion of property owned -- such as a business investment
Some assets that may not require probate can include:
- Life insurance
- Pension plans
- Any property in a living trust
- Salary due to the person who has passed away
- 401ks, IRAs, or another type of retirement savings account
- Certain household items
Other assets that might be required to go through probate are bank accounts under the deceased's name, that have no beneficiary or co-owner, any real estate that was owned solely by that individual, and any real estate that is co-owned by tenants in common.
Compassionate Probate Representation for Putnam County Residents
At Hedstrom Law, P.A., we understand the emotional and practical challenges associated with the passing of a loved one. You shouldn’t have to go through the grieving process and probate proceedings alone. That is why we are dedicated to providing our clients with compassionate probate advice and advocacy, devoting proper attention to the unique circumstances of your case. You can count on us to provide you with comprehensive legal advice so you understand the metes and bounds of the legal issues implicated in your case. We are committed to working diligently toward finding a just resolution to your probate issues.
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“Personal attention is what you get at Hedstrom and Harris” - Susie
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