Florida Probate Lawyer
A Florida probate lawyer handles estates of Florida residents who are deceased. Probate is the legal process used to inventory, appraise and distribute assets and financial holdings owned by decedents. Nearly all Florida estates must undergo the probate process unless they have established a revocable or irrevocable trust.
When possible, it is best to hire a Florida probate lawyer long before you need their services. Probate lawyers can assist with estate planning and utilize techniques which allow people to keep certain assets out of probate or avoid the probate process altogether
When a person dies while residing in the state of Florida, all their assets and personal belongings are transferred to probate. Typically, probate extends for several months to provide the estate executor time to inventory assets, pay outstanding debts and organize inheritance property for distribution to heirs.
If a person dies without executing a Will or trust, a Florida probate lawyer can be retained by the decedent's family. An estate administrator must be appointed to handle estate affairs. Typically, the judge will appoint a family member to administer the estate. However, if the decedent has no living relatives, the court will appoint an outsider to this position.
Florida probate lawyers can handle all duties associated with the decedent's estate. However, most duties can be completed by the estate executor; saving the estate hundreds, if not thousands of dollars in attorney fees.
Estate administrators are entitled to compensation for their duties. Generally, this is a flat-fee or percentage of the total value of the estate. Probate lawyers can advise the Administrator of their rights and duties required to close the estate. Additionally, Florida probate lawyers provide legal representation during the probate process.
In the state of Florida, estate Administrators would be wise to retain a qualified probate attorney. Numerous legalities are associated with probate, including a plethora of legal documents which must be filed through the court.
Florida probate law states, "Any provision in a Will mandating a specific attorney or law firm be retained to manage their estate is not legally binding." Therefore, the estate administrator has the right to retain the services of any Florida probate law firm of their choosing.
Florida probate law allows lawyers to charge fees based on a percentage of the total value of the estate. However, a large percentage of attorneys charge an hourly rate or flat fee. Much depends on the size and complexity of the estate, number of beneficiaries, and special provisions outlined within the Will.
Florida probate lawyers can be located in local phone directories or through online attorney network directories. The American Bar Association provides listings of Florida probate lawyers through their website at www.abanet.org
Published on January 20, 2009 at 02:34 AM | Comments: 1
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