If you’ve recently lost a loved one, the last thing you should be doing is worrying about probate proceedings. At Gary I. Handin, PA., our experienced and compassionate probate attorney will ensure that all probate matters are speedily and properly taken care of, so you are not burdened by administrative matters during your time of bereavement. We pride ourselves on years of experience in estate probating, and will represent your interests with diligence and care.
Why Is Probate Necessary?
Probate is a court-supervised process that involves administering the deceased person’s (decedent’s) estate, identifying and distributing the decedent’s assets to beneficiaries, and settling any creditors’ claims to the estate.
In terms of the Florida Probate Code, all wills must be probated, and a probate attorney must represent the personal representative of the estate, unless the personal representative is the sole interested person. Probate is also necessary in instances in which the deceased died intestate (without leaving a Will).
Probate proceedings must take place if the decedent’s assets are to be passed on to any intestate heirs. Only probate assets in the decedent estate must be probated. Probate assets are assets held solely by the decedent, in his or her own name, at the time of death, as well as assets which were owned by the decedent and one or more co-owners without any provision for the automatic succession of ownership at death.
Types Of Probate Administration
The legal rules on probate administration vary from state to state. At Gary I. Handin, P.A., our practice areas are focused in Florida. However, we also have colleagues available to offer probate services to our clients in New York.
Under Florida law, two types of probate administration are possible:
- Formal Administration
- Summary Administration
Summary administration is a streamlined process available for decedent estates which contain less than $75,000.00 in assets. This process is less expensive and generally quicker than formal probate, but it is important to consult with a probate attorney as to whether summary administration is the most appropriate course of action.
While an estate might qualify for summary administration, if there are multiple creditors or the will is contested, formal probate proceedings will be a better option to pursue.
Formal administration is the probate process which most estates tend to go through, and it is the process which applies for larger estates and estates against which multiple creditors have claims. Formal administration can be a lengthy process and involve many legal complexities, which is why it is so important that the estate’s personal representative (also known as Executor or Executrix in some states) is represented by a highly competent probate attorney.
At Gary I. Handin, PA., we are highly experienced in probate by formal administration, and will also provide you with assistance if the choice of summary administration presents itself. Our ultimate goal is to ensure that whatever probate matter you face, your peace of mind throughout the process is secured.
Why Hire A Probate Attorney?
Besides the fact that estate representatives are required by law to be represented by probate attorneys, there are a number of reasons why it is important to have an experienced probate attorney at your side throughout probate court proceedings.
First, like any other court process, probate practice requires an intimate knowledge of court rules and documents. Commencing probate requires filing a number of legal documents and forms and following certain key procedures, so attention to detail is of utmost importance if delays in the probate process are to be avoided.
Second, once probate has commenced, any number of legal issues can arise, from competing creditor’s claims, to disputes between beneficiaries, to the management of taxation issues. A reliable probate attorney will be able to respond to these issues as they arise, providing the estate with the best representation possible.
Last, but not least, a probate lawyer will have knowledge of the particular probate laws of the state of the decedent, and will ensure the estate representative is equipped to navigate any peculiar rules and requirements. At Gary I. Handin, we strive to provide all this and more when given the opportunity to assist you in your probate matter.
Probate Attorneys You Can Trust
At Gary I. Handin, PA., we will not just be meeting a legal requirement when we represent your loved one’s estate: we will be providing you with superior legal services with the intention of settling the probate on terms most favorable to you and insuring that the decedent’s legatees receive the inheritance that was intended. We will endeavor to have your loved one’s estate probated as quickly and efficiently as possible, doing what we do best to make your time of bereavement just a little bit easier.