Probate is a legal process that takes place after someone passes away. It involves proving that the decedent’s will is valid, inventorying their estate, satisfying creditor claims, and distributing assets to beneficiaries.
Probate can be fairly straightforward or extremely complex, depending on the size of the decedent’s estate and other factors. If you are a family member or a personal representative responsible for settling a deceased person’s estate, contact us at the Law Offices of Keane, Thomas & Pinnacoli. Our dedicated legal team can help you navigate probate and estate administration in the area of Stuart, Florida.
Generally, every asset the decedent owned is subject to probate, with a few exceptions:
An experienced Florida probate attorney can help you understand which assets in the estate you’re settling require probate.
Depending on their value, Florida estates may go through one of two probate processes:
Formal probate administration usually takes between six and nine months in Florida. This timeframe includes the three-month deadline creditors have to file claims. However, probate may drag out if the estate is very large or complex, or if disputes arise during the process.
Timing is important when you’re preparing to file for probate. It’s usually advisable to assess the decedent’s debts and creditors before filing. You may need to follow a certain procedure to declare specific assets as exempt from creditor claims.
However, delaying probate is also unwise since the personal representative needs the probate court to give them authority to secure and manage the estate. Also, distribution of assets to beneficiaries can’t take place until the probate is complete. Our competent probate attorneys can let you know when to file for probate at the right time and help you handle all probate court procedures.
As a personal representative, you will be under a fiduciary duty to act according to the decedent’s wishes and in the best interests of the beneficiaries. Our skilled probate lawyers can help you handle all estate administration tasks correctly and efficiently.
It’s possible to avoid probate with timely estate planning. Placing property in a revocable living trust allows trust assets to pass directly to beneficiaries after the grantor’s death, bypassing probate in Florida.
You might think a will can help avoid probate, but this is not true. However, a clear, detailed will can make probate simpler compared to situations when there’s no will or when the will doesn’t cover all the estate’s assets.
If you’re still working on your estate plan, contact us at the Law Offices of Keane, Thomas & Pinnacoli for efficient legal strategies that may help your estate avoid probate.
If you’re responsible for settling a very small estate, you may be able to handle probate without a lawyer. In other situations, working with a reputable probate attorney can give you invaluable legal support and potentially shorten probate. You definitely need a probate lawyer if you’re dealing with a large and complex estate, if the decedent left no will, or in case an inheritance dispute arises.
Our team at the Law Offices of Keane, Thomas & Pinnacoli has handled nearly every possible estate- and probate-related matter in over 25 years of legal practice. Our probate lawyers can:
Probate in Florida could involve months of complicated legal and administrative work, which may be especially difficult if you’re also grieving the loss of a family member. A reliable estate and probate lawyer can help you get through this challenging time with less stress.
At the Law Offices of Keane, Thomas & Pinnacoli, we have over 25 years of experience providing reliable probate and estate administration services across the Treasure Coast.
789 SW Federal Hwy., Suite 310,
Stuart, FL 34994