Law Office of Joseph Stella, PLLC: Probate Counsel and Representation in Escambia County
If you recently lost a loved one in the Escambia area, the last thing you want to think about is administering that person’s estate. Unfortunately, probate is a critical process, especially if you’ve been identified as the will’s personal representative. Thankfully, you don’t have to go it alone. The right Escambia probate attorney can guide you through every phase of this anxiety-inducing process. Additionally, an ideal probate lawyer will help you and your loved ones avoid estate-related disputes.
What Is Probate?
Probate involves validating a previously drafted will. It’s a long and complicated process guided by the Florida court system. During this time, an personal representative (appointed by the court, taking into consideration the decedents preference as indicated by a valid will) identifies and gathers the deceased individual’s assets, pays off that person’s debts, and distributes remaining assets to designated beneficiaries. All this is carried out according to the Florida Probate Rules, Part I and Part II.
What If There Is No Will?
If a person dies without having completed a will, he or she is deemed ‘intestate.’ Despite the lack of will, assets will most likely not be transferred to the state of Florida. Instead, Florida statute guides distributions to close family members.
Summary Versus Formal Administration
Florida probate can be settled through summary or formal administration. Summary administration is typically reserved for small estates. It involves a shortened process in which a personal representative need not be appointed. Formal administration more closely resembles what Florida residents expect from probate.
Is It Possible to Avoid Probate?
In addition to guiding you through the probate process, the Law Office of Joseph Stella, PLLC can help you take a proactive approach to estate planning and avoid probate altogether. This may mean keeping your assets in a trust instead of a will.
How a Escambia County Probate Attorney Can Help
Whether you’re an personal representative or beneficiary, you’ll appreciate targeted legal support. That’s what you’ll receive when you work with the Law Office of Joseph Stella, PLLC. At your first consultation, you’ll share the specifics of your situation with Joseph Stella. From there, you’ll receive insight into the Florida probate process, and how you can navigate it more effectively.
As you deal with the complications of probate, place your trust in a top Escambia law firm. The Law Office of Joseph Stella, PLLC can help; get in touch today to learn how.