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What Is Probate? What Do Probate Attorneys And The Probate Court Do?

Probate encompasses much more than merely proving a will is valid. Probate is the legal process that takes place after someone dies. It makes sure property and possessions are given to the correct people, and any taxes or debts owed are paid in full. Accordingly, probate is conducted in the state and county in which the decedent died (for residents of the State of Florida) or in the county in which the decedent owned real property (for non-residents of the State of Florida).

The probate court helps determine who the administrator of a will should be, provides legal documentation for that estate, and verifies the executorship of anyone who has been named in the will. The probate court holds hearings so that it can stamp and seal documents, and the court will help verify the financial aspects of any will’s execution.

You must go through the probate court to get the legal documents you need, and your probate lawyer must appear before the court to complete the probate process. The probate court is the place you go when you need to provide extra documentation, or you could forward any inquiries about the estate to the probate court.

Should You Probate A Loved One’s Will?

You must probate a will when it is not clear who the executor or administrator should be. You need to probate a will when you need legal documents that give you access to the property, bank accounts, and other aspects of the deceased person’s life.

You may not need to probate a will if that will includes no money, no property, and only a few personal items that were distributed to the right person. This may seem simple, but you may want to ask a probate attorney for advice. There are times when you can safely work around the probate process, but a lawyer can find any details that may cause problems for you in the future.

Probating a will gets the court involved, and you may be asked to create financial reports for the court. You are not a professional, and you need to work with Fort Lauderdale probate lawyer to complete these documents.

If you do not probate a complex will, you are assuming all liability for not handling the will properly. Plus, you may not have documentation that is required when you need to settle a portion of the deceased’s estate.

What Does Not Have To Go Through Probate?

With the help of your probate attorney, you can plan on making sure the following items can avoid the Florida probate process:

  • Beneficiary-Named Items
  • POD (Payable on Death) & TOD(Transferrable on Death) Items
  • Items Placed In A Living Will
  • Property Heald Jointly With Survivors Rights

What Does Have To Go Through The Probate Process?

If the below items are outlined in your will, the process is a lot simpler because you’ve assigned each item exactly who it should go to. However, if these items are not in your will, the probate court judge will then have to help determine what to do with these items:  

  • Sole Ownership Property
  • Non-Titled Property
  • Investment Property With A Partner
  • Inheritance When Beneficiary Has Pass Away

Can A Probate Lawyer Write Your Will Or Estate Plan?

A Fort Lauderdale probate lawyer can write an estate plan or will for you. A probate attorney will know how to add the appropriate language to the will, and they can explain what you should add to the document. You might want to remove people from the document because they do not deserve a piece of your estate. If that is the case, you must ask your attorney what to do.

A probate lawyer can add provisions to your will that will make it easier to execute in the future. Also, the will is filed in your attorney’s office. The document can be transferred to an active attorney if your lawyer retires, and the will can be sent to another state if you move.

When you move to Broward County, you should hire a local lawyer in Fort Lauderdale to review the document. The document can be changed so that it lines up with local laws or statutes. You can go to your new probate lawyer to make changes at any time, and you can ask the staff in the office to witness the document.

Can You Skip Any Of The Probate Processes Involved?

You can skip some of the processes that are involved in the probate process. You can ask your attorney to request a financial documentation waiver, or you may ask the court to skip any waiting periods. The court might require you to post an ad in the local newspaper to find other beneficiaries, and you can ask to waive that requirement.

Your probate lawyer will make your life easier by helping cut back on what the court requires. However, your lawyer might explain why you need to complete some of these processes. Plus, you can ask your probate lawyer to write an estate plan that requires financial reporting when you die. If you have not reviewed all your options, your estate plan is not complete.

How Long Does It Take To Probate A Florida Will?

The probate court may require you to wait 30 days when you must post an ad in the paper. Also, you are at the mercy of the probate court’s schedule. When you hire an experienced probate attorney in Fort Lauderdale, they will explain how long it typically takes to get a court date. Your attorney may find a way to get a court date quickly, or you may need to wait.

Your probate lawyer will send you updates on the court’s schedule, and you typically do not need to appear in court. Your probate lawyer will forward you all the documents you need, and the court clerk can replicate those documents at any time.

Contact Our Fort Lauderdale Probate Attorneys Today

Weinstein & Scharf’s probate attorneys can create your estate plan and probate your will. Our experienced probate lawyers know how to get the will processed as quickly as possible and will represent you in court as the will is probated/approved. We can also help you when someone close to you has passed away and ensure that their will is executed properly. Contact one of our probate attorneys today to get started!