Wills, Probate & Estates
Virtually every person with assets, family members, business partners or others needs a will to assure their estate assets go to those they desire to receive the assets. Even a simple will can settle important issues like the name of the persons you want to inherit your assets, and the name of the person to handle your probate matters. That person is called a “Personal Representative” under Florida law. Some states refer to that individual as an executor or executrix.
Your will needs to be properly prepared and witnessed. It is advisable to have it notarized to save money and potential court challenges to the will’s execution after your death.
When a person passes away, extensive probate laws dictate what type of probate is necessary and those rare cases where no probate is necessary.
Probate can involve moving real estate from one person to another. In certain cases, homestead petitions are appropriate and are filed to avoid potential title conflicts later.
A jointly held marital home that passes to a spouse at death will pass to that surviving spouse without the need for probate in most instances.
Florida law also allows in certain cases for family members to apply for necessary “family support” funds from the probate estate while the probate is pending. Certain estate property can be excluded from the claims of creditors.
Probate can be simple and relatively inexpensive. More complex probate can be time consuming. Lawyers familiar with the probate law are important. Some parties desire or prefer to place their assets in a trust document. We can assist with that and can also assist in you finding tax advisors as needed for more complex tax and trust issues.