Probate is a complex legal matter that can leave many people confused and overwhelmed. When a loved one passes away, there are an array of legal intricacies that need attention. Not only this, but there is often grief and loss involved that make the overall situation that much harder to manage.
Probate is the process of validating someone’s will after their death. In circumstances where the decedent did not have a will, the court determines who inherits their assets and/or property based on the laws and regulations of the state.
The majority of assets must go through probate, with some exceptions. The most common assets distributed through probate include:
- Bank accounts
- Real estate
- Personal belongings
- And more
Probate Court: What to Expect During the Proceedings
There are several ways a probate case can be processed in court. The three primary types of probate are formal administration, disposition without administration, and summary administration. You can find details of each proceeding below:
Also referred to as “formal probate”, formal administration is the most common and standard form of probate. This legal procedure occurs in the local Circuit Court of the County where the decedent resided at the time of their death. Formal administration begins once the executor of the will requests to be appointed as the personal representative of the deceased individual’s estate. All named beneficiaries are given notice and provided the chance to voice any and all formal objections.
Disposition Without Administration
This process omits the probate hearing entirely if it is financially infeasible. This is only done if the decedent didn’t leave any real estate – and the assets are less valuable than the expenses after probate.
If the total value of estate is appraised at $75,000 or less, summary administration is usually available. Additionally, this process may be used when the individual’s death occurred more than two years ago. Summary administration is initiated by filing a petition, which must be signed by beneficiaries and/or surviving spouse. This is an expedited form of probate that usually takes less time to complete.
Overall, probate court proceedings require a filing of the death certificate and other necessary paperwork. Additionally, it involves the confirmation of the beneficiaries’ identities and the assigning of a personal representative.
Common Challenges of the Probate Process and How to Overcome Them
Probate procedures can vary greatly depending on a variety of factors surrounding the estate. Challenges such as the size of the estate, the validity, and disagreements can significantly affect the legal process.
If there is no will at all, this can add a layer of legal difficulty that may take longer to resolve. Additionally, if there are disputes between beneficiaries, probate proceedings are likely to be delayed until a solution is found.
How A Probate Lawyer Can Help You
Once a person passes away, there is a long list of legal tasks that must be completed. Having a legal professional who is acutely aware of the steps to take will not only expedite the process, but it will also ensure that no mistakes are made along the way.
Some of the most common duties that a probate attorney performs include:
- Determine and distribute estate assets
- Complete all necessary paperwork on your behalf
- Paying all debts and bills
- Complete all real estate appraisals
- Communicate with creditors and beneficiaries
- Assistance with tax issues
- And more…
Law Offices Of Paul H. Threatt, PLLC: Dedicated To Protecting Your Best Interests
Need help with estate administration law in Saint Augustine, FL? Work with a probate law firm that you can count on.
Attorney Paul Threatt has extensive experience helping clients successfully traverse the probate process. Establishing himself as one of the top probate attorneys in Saint Augustine, FL, he knows the value of putting his clients at the heart of his practice.
If you are seeking a lawyer who will work tirelessly to help put the probate process behind you, look no further than the Law Offices Of Paul H. Threatt. To get started with a proactive legal strategy, call (904) 650-4262 or contact us here today!