It is an unfortunate fact that family members will not always see eye to eye when it comes to financial matters involving the probate process. Hiring a Miami probate attorney will provide compassionate consultation to a family that is faced with differing points of view. Whether it be a disagreement about the goals for estate property or the distribution of assets, a Miami probate attorney will provide guidance while working through these common challenges families often face following the passing of a loved one.
What is Probate?
The legal process whereby the estate and property of the deceased is distributed among heirs, beneficiaries, and creditors is referred to as probate. The division of property will be done through the execution of a last will and testament, or according to state law if none exists.
What Steps are Involved in Probate?
- A petition is filed with probate court to provide notice to heirs and beneficiaries. If a will is in place, the court will then admit the case into probate and an executor will be appointed. In the event that a will does not exist, an administrator of the estate will be appointed. It is at this point in the proceeding that heirs or beneficiaries will voice objections to the petition in court.
- Based on state law, all creditors will be provided with written notice of the proceedings, permitting claims on assets of the estate to be made within the allotted time frame. Inventory will be conducted of the decedent’s property, assets, stocks, bonds, and business investments.
- All legitimate debts, taxes, and funeral expenses will be paid from the estate. If necessary, assets may be sold by the representative in order to satisfy the obligations.
- Upon completion of creditor claims, a petition will be made to the court requesting the authority to carry out the last will and testament, as it refers to the remaining assets to be distributed among the beneficiaries. This process will vary depending upon the existence of a will and state laws. Once the court grants the petition, new deeds to the property will be prepared, and assets will be distributed based on the decedent’s wishes.
Hiring a Probate Attorney
An experienced Miami probate attorney will help navigate the court process and handle any issues with succession. This may include repayment of the deceased individual’s debts, locating and securing assets, appraisal of property, collection and management of life insurance proceeds, filing of documents, execution of the will and the distribution of property as well as any required litigation.
Families can suffer irreparable damage when disagreements arise during probate. A lawyer will serve as a neutral third party providing guidance throughout the mediation process, while also acting with empathy for the family during this extremely difficult time. Contact Graham Legal, P.A. today for a free consultation to discuss your personal probate situation.