A probate lawyer is an attorney who assists the personal representative or executor with settling the estate of a deceased person, usually a loved one. After someone passes, the personal representative must:
- Find and notify beneficiaries, interested parties, and creditors.
- File legal paperwork to open the probate and administer the estate.
- Collect assets and manage the estate account.
- Pay all valid debts of creditors and taxes.
- Make final distributions to beneficiaries or heirs.
A probate attorney will advise the personal representative or executor as to what their legal obligations are and keep them on track with court-mandated deadlines and filings.
The probate legal system is complex, and attorneys in this field must be familiar with all facets of the process, including real estate law and probate court proceedings. If you are the personal representative or beneficiary of an estate, you should contact a Boca Raton Probate Attorney with Loughlin Law, P.A.
You Have an Estate That Can Cover all Existing Debts
Probate is necessary when someone dies with assets in their name alone. Creditors of an estate can bring forth probate if no one else does. A probate may be necessary regardless of the size of the estate, however, an estate may be eligible for an expedited summary administration if it is small and there are no issues with creditors.
An Estate May Have Both Probate and Non-probate Assets
If a deceased person had assets that were properly named beneficiaries, such as life insurance policies or an IRA, those assets may avoid the probate process and go through the court system. If all of the decedent’s assets were non-probate assets passing outside of court, then there may be no need for a probate attorney. It’s best to consult a probate attorney after someone passes to discuss the assets and determine if a probate is required and what type of proceeding to file.
The Estate Has a Business
A probate lawyer may be needed if the decedent was a partner in a business or owned a business. Depending on what the governing business documents state, a personal representative may need to file paperwork to dissolve the company before assets can be distributed through inheritance or otherwise.
You Are Having Difficulty Paying Debts
If an estate has debt, you may need a probate lawyer. When someone dies, the personal representative is charged with identifying all known or reasonably ascertainable creditors of the estate and putting them on notice, as well as publishing a specific notification to all potential creditors at large. All valid creditor claims must be paid before assets can be distributed. A personal representative may object to claims during the creditor period in the probate. If the estate is insolvent, the Florida Statutes provide a schedule for paying claims as some claims have higher priority than others.
When Time Is Key
If you need to open probate as quickly as possible, regardless of the amount of the estate, hiring a probate attorney can speed up the process as an attorney will often get it right the first time. A personal representative is required to hire an attorney and cannot administer an estate without one. Certain estates require both a personal representative and an attorney. Contact a Boca Raton probate attorney to determine what your obligations are.
You Do Not Understand the Laws Associated With Property Succession
The probate laws in Boca Raton and across Florida can be complicated and confusing. This is why it may be beneficial to hire a probate lawyer if you are unsure what steps to take when someone dies. A knowledgeable Boca Raton probate attorney will be able to guide you through each step of the process and ensure that everything goes smoothly.
They understand how the court system works and when necessary to petition the courts. With this, they can ensure that your interests are protected and that everything is done according to the appropriate procedures.
Contact an Experienced Boca Raton Probate Attorney
A Boca Raton Probate Attorney with Loughlin Law, P.A., helps you settle an estate and ensures that the terms of an individual’s will and the Florida statutes are observed. Hire a probate attorney in Boca Raton if you have an estate that can cover all existing debts. They can also help if you have an estate with both probate and non-probate assets and help you determine what your obligations are and what proceeding needs to be filed.
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