An estate is the money and property that a person owns. When a person dies, probate is the legal process by which the deceased person’s assets are settled. Bank accounts, retirement funds, life insurance policies, and real estate are generally some of the items to be settled in an estate.
In a claim brought under the Florida Wrongful Death Act (Florida Statutes, Sections 768.16 – 768.26), a probate attorney may assist a wrongful death attorney with protecting the interests of the estate and statutory survivors. In a probate case, a probate attorney advises the personal representative of the estate and beneficiaries through the complicated legal process to settle a decedent’s affairs.
A will may be drafted to ensure the desired distribution of money and property to beneficiaries and heirs after a person’s death. Probate lawyers assist in the legal process of proving a last will and testament to a judge. If the decedent did not leave behind a will (intestate), a probate lawyer may assist the Probate Court to determine how to distribute an estate. A probate attorney helps sift valid claims from unexpected or unlisted heirs. If the will is contested, a petition must be properly filed. This process could continue indefinitely without proper legal counsel. In some situations, probate may be avoided, altogether. Having the right legal counsel by your side makes every step in the process easier.
A probate attorney may assist an heir or beneficiary with acquiring the following assets from a loved one’s Estate:
- Money, property, or other assets
- Life insurance or other insurance proceeds
- Cash from a bank account
- House or other real estate title
- Stocks, bonds, or other financial assets
Even where a valid will is in place, it can be full of complex legal terms and conditions that may not be immediately understood or operable by the beneficiaries. When there is no will is involved, the matter may become increasingly more complicated. A probate lawyer is useful if there is money that was earned after death and needs to be awarded to a will’s beneficiaries. If a beneficiary predeceases the writer of the will, a probate lawyer can fix that. Otherwise, the state decides who has a right to that asset. Invest the time and expense of consulting with a competent probate attorney to advise and assist you with drafting a will or trust.
If you are an heir or survivor of a person who died owning money, real estate, stocks, bonds, bank accounts, insurance policies, businesses, or other assets or property, you may be entitled to the property – partially or in its entirety. Call the Crenshaw Law Firm to discuss your situation and how we may assist you in obtaining the property.