Even though retaining a Florida probate attorney for estate settlement is not mandatory, it is a wise idea. Probate laws are quite rigid and complicated in this state and most individuals find it almost impossible to endure settlement proceedings without legal assistance, especially when the heirs contest the will.
You can avail probate attorney Florida services in order to establish estate planning strategies and relive the settlement burdens. They can utilize various methods in order to keep assets out of the probate court, thus enabling a quick transfer to the heirs.
Probate attorneys are particularly useful in handling estates of individuals that die without writing a will. This type of estate is known as ‘intestate’ and is more involved as it has to be settled in accordance with Florida laws.
When an individual writes a will, they can assign ownership of their property to whomever they wish. Wills can ideally be used to disinherit direct lineage to heirs and even provide a non-consent statement that prohibits the beneficiaries from contesting the document. Without a will, estate assets are assigned to the surviving spouse and other loved ones who are entitled under state law.
Almost all property can avoid probate by ideal estate planning. Titled property like real estate and cars can be gifted to the heirs by creating a joint title. Funds stored in bank accounts can be easily transferred by setting up payable on death beneficiaries and life insurance proceeds and financial investments can all be gifted through transfer on death beneficiary forms.
Probate attorney Florida services are particularly helpful when it comes to family disputes over inheritance. Any time an heir disputes a Will, all the assets are suspended in probate until the case is resolved. However, it is important to keep in mind that contesting a Will tends to be harmful to small assets as the estate covers the legal defense fees. If there is no adequate money to cover the fees, the judge can order the assets to be sold, which means nobody gets any inheritance.