Judy-Ann Smith Law Firm, P.A
Probate & Estate Administration Attorneys
Probate is the legal process that decides how a person’s assets will be distributed and their debts paid after his or her death. It can be complex, confusing, and frustrating for a personal representative or inexperienced executor if they attempt to manage the process without an experienced probate lawyer. Judy-Ann Smith Law Firm, P.A has been providing probate administration legal services for individuals and families from Florida for over 15 years.
Use an Experienced Probate Lawyer to Help you Navigate the Process
The process of probate administration will likely take several months to complete. This can be a considerable drain on your time without the help of a probate lawyer. Probate and estate administration can be overwhelming, especially if the estate includes large amounts of assets, one or more businesses, or property in multiple locations. In addition, you may feel a sense of personal obligation to ensure that the probate process is administered properly in order to meet the decedent’s wishes. Working with an experienced and empathetic probate attorney can make this burden easier to shoulder.
To talk with a lawyer about your probate or estate administration issue, please call us.
The Probate Administration Process & Why You Need a Probate Lawyer
Probate is a court-supervised legal process by which the assets of a deceased person are distributed. Probate has two purposes–Paying of any debts, bills or taxes, and distributing assets to beneficiaries.
Each case varies depending on the circumstances, but certain steps remain constant. Leveraging an experienced probate lawyer can help you through this process:
• In general, the administrator or executor will hire an experienced probate attorney to file a Petition for Probate.
• The probate attorney will then mail a notice of the probate hearing to the legal heirs and beneficiaries named in the will (if there is one), as well as notify creditors by publishing the notice in the local newspaper where the decedent lived.
• A probate hearing commonly occurs several weeks after filing the petition. The hearing establishes the validity of the will, and a personal representative is appointed to inventory and manage the assets and pay the debts. Your lawyer can provide the experienced resources to assist with this effort. The process can take several months, during which time your attorney can stay abreast of the process, ensure all appropriate actions are taken and nothing is missed. When securities, real estate or other assets must be sold to pay creditors, months can stretch into years.
• After all taxes and debts are paid, the personal representative, or the probate lawyer, files a report with the court, which verifies the accounting. The judge then authorizes the remaining assets to be distributed to the will’s beneficiaries, and the property transfers occur, with the assistance of the probate attorney.
The Value of an Experienced Probate Attorney in the Administration Process
At Judy-Ann Smith Law Firm, P.A, your probate attorney provides complete support throughout the probate and estate administration process. Your lawyer will advise and support you in navigating the process and will be by your side to enable you to achieve a successful and efficient probate process by:
• Filing the will in probate court
• Obtaining your appointment as executor
• Inventorying the assets and liabilities of the deceased
• Valuing and distributing assets to the beneficiaries or heirs
• Collecting all rights to income, dividends, etc.
• Liquidating property
• Settling disputes
• Paying the debts and the final bills of the estate
• Preparing the final estate tax returns
Our Experienced Probate Administration Attorney Will Help you Through the Process
Managing the probate and estate administration process can be a challenging and stressful endeavor. With the help of Judy-Ann Smith Law Firm, P.A, you will not need to go through this trying time alone. Call us today to speak with a lawyer about your probate and trust administration needs.