Probate law refers to the court-supervised process in which the assets of a deceased person are given to the beneficiaries listed in their will. It can be an extremely complicated and frustrating process, which is why it’s important to have an experienced probate attorney assisting you each step of the way. At Deitsch & Deitsch, we will help you handle each aspect of the process, from tracking down all estate assets, dealing with and giving notice to creditors, and handling the distribution of assets to the appropriate beneficiaries.
The Personal Representative In A Probate Case
Typically, the personal representative named in the will files a petition in court seeking appointment to open the estate. In the state of Florida, however, “any interested person” is able to file the petition and await court approval and appointment. After the court appoints the personal representative, the personal representative takes possession of the assets along with certain responsibilities. These responsibilities are:
- Paying off the estate’s debt
- With court approval, distributing the remaining estate assets to the beneficiaries
This can be a daunting process for those who are not well-versed in estate law, and you will likely need a trusted Florida probate attorney by your side to help you get through the process efficiently- especially if you’re still mourning the deceased loved one.
How Deitsch & Deitsch Can Help Your Probate Case
A Florida probate attorney from Deitsch & Deitsch can assist the personal representative (also known as the administrator or executor) with the administration of the estate. We will make sure the personal representative meets all technical requirements and that the personal representative has a thorough comprehension of their responsibilities and has all the information necessary to carry them out.
How Long Probate Takes
The amount of time that probate takes depends on the complexity of the estate and the type of administration. Since creditors are given 90 days to submit claims, the probate process always requires more than three months. A small estate that is administered informally (known as a summary administration) is typically completed in four to six months. Formal administration, however, usually takes several months, and often requires over a year to complete. The matter can stretch out for two years or more if it is an especially complex administration, or where issues arise such as contests over valuation of property or will contests.
A Top Florida Probate Attorney For Your Probate Case
The Florida Rules of Civil Procedure mandates the personal representative to be represented by a licensed attorney in the majority of Florida probate cases. Having legal representation benefits both the beneficiaries and the personal representative because the probate process can be extremely complex and difficult to understand for the vast majority of people. There are certain limited exceptions; for example, legal representation may not be necessary for estates where the personal representative is the sole beneficiary. Keep in mind that even when the state doesn’t require it, it is still almost always to the advantage of the personal representative to hire a probate attorney, since even tiny mistakes in the process can result in significant complications down the line.