Probate Lawyer in Stuart, Florida
The probate law firm at the Estate, Trust, & Elder Law Firm, P.L. in Stuart, Florida can assist you, your family, and executors with your probate needs. Probate is the process by which a deceased person’s will is validated by the courts. During the probate process, any disputes about the wording of a will must be resolved, property must be appraised and catalogued, and debts and taxes must be paid before property and assets can be distributed to heirs. The days and weeks following the death of a loved one can be stressful and challenging. You may have arrangements to make. Let the compassionate probate lawyers at the Estate, Trust, & Elder Law Firm, P.L. in Stuart, Florida help you navigate the probate process. While most wills go through probate without complications, the probate law firm at the Estate, Trust, & Elder Law Firm, P.L. in Stuart, Florida can address any issues that might arise and help you navigate the legal process of probate.
Common Probate Issues
Probate issues and litigation are generally quite rare. However, when probate litigation does arise and when issues come up, they often revolve around heirs disagreeing about their inheritance. If you are facing a probate issue or probate litigation, consider speaking to the Estate, Trust, & Elder Law Firm, P.L. in Stuart, Florida today. Our probate law firm can help you navigate issues that can arise in probate. We can also review your loved one’s will to help you prepare for any issues that might arise. What are some common probate issues?
- Heirs challenging the will. The most common probate issue that arises is when heirs challenge the wording of the will or when heirs disagree with what the will says each family member should receive. If an heir challenges the will, the probate process can become more complicated. How might a will be challenged? Sometimes heirs might believe that the deceased person was improperly influenced when writing his or her will, especially if the deceased makes large gifts to a non-relative. If an individual wrote his or her will while mentally incapacitated or while ill, the will might also face challenges during probate. Finally, if the will wasn’t properly signed or if the wording is ambiguous, family or heirs might challenge the will. If you believe a loved one’s will should be challenged in court, or if you are facing a complex probate process where you anticipate challenges, speak to the probate law firm in Stuart, Florida at the Estate, Trust, & Elder Law Firm, P.L. today. The best way to avoid challenges to a will during probate is to have a qualified estate planning lawyer read over your will ahead of time.
- Unorthodox estate planning. Sometimes individuals choose to donate all their assets and money to charity rather than to family. Other times individuals disinherit certain children or family members. If your loved one left a will that wouldn’t be considered a standard estate plan, it may face challenges during probate. The Estate, Trust, & Elder Law Firm, P.L. in Stuart, Florida are probate lawyers who can assist you with probate if your loved one left non-standard estate plans.
- Fiduciary litigation. If you believe an executor is mismanaging the probate process, using money to his or her benefit, or isn’t handling the estate properly, you may want to speak to the Estate, Trust, & Elder Law Firm, P.L. in Stuart, Florida today. When your family entrusts an executor to manage an estate or trust, this individual has certain legal responsibilities. If he or she fails in these responsibilities, families may have the right to sue for damages.
- Contested debts. During the probate process, assets and property must be accounted for and appraised. Debts must also be paid. The probate process may require family to publish a public notice of a loved one’s death. During this process, new creditors may come out of the woodwork. However, not every one of these creditors may have a valid claim to your loved one’s debt. If you and your family are navigating the probate process and have questions about how debts can impact this process, contact the Stuart, Florida probate law firm at the Estate, Trust, & Elder Law Firm, P.L. today.
- Probate and other states. If your loved one owned property or assets in more than one state, the will may need to go through probate in each state in which your loved one owned assets. This can lead to a more complex probate process. The Estate, Trust, & Elder Law Firm, P.L. is a probate lawyer in Stuart, Florida who can help you navigate a complex probate process.
While complications in probate are rare, when they do arise it can be helpful to have a probate law firm on your side. The Estate, Trust, & Elder Law Firm, P.L. are probate lawyers in Stuart, Florida who can help you navigate the probate process. Our firm can review your situation, help you anticipate any issues, and work hard to help you get out of the probate process as quickly as possible so that you and your family can move forward.
The Probate Process in Stuart, Florida
The probate process is usually straightforward. What can you expect as you navigate the probate process? Here are some steps that must happen during probate:
- The will must be validated by the court. During this process, the court will need proof that the deceased person has passed away. The court may review the will to ensure that it is properly signed and notarized. Any heirs who dispute the will also have a chance to come forward with alternative claims at this point.
- Property must be appraised. The deceased person’s property must all be accounted for and appraised.
- Debts and taxes must be paid. Any outstanding debts must be paid and any taxes must be paid before property can be distributed to heirs.
- Property is distributed to heirs.
If your loved one has passed away, you may have many things to consider in the coming days and weeks. If your family member left a will, you and your family may need to go through probate. Fortunately, you don’t have to navigate this legal process alone. Contact the probate law firm in Stuart, Florida at the Estate, Trust, & Elder Law Firm, P.L. Our compassionate and caring lawyers can help you navigate the probate process.