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Probate Assistance for Testate and Intestate Cases

Navigating the emotional challenges of probate after losing a loved one can be overwhelming. With decades of experience, Legacy Law Associates has been a guiding force for countless families in their time of loss. Recognizing our knowledge and experience in complex cases, fellow lawyers often seek our assistance. Our law firm prioritizes empathy and compassion, providing unwavering support and guidance for clients in both testate and intestate situations. Trust us to make the probate process smooth, efficient, and timely.

Understanding Probate

Probate is the legal framework for managing and distributing a deceased person’s assets, irrespective of whether they left a will. This process encompasses various assets such as bank accounts, investments, motor vehicles, real property, and other valuables owned solely by the deceased. The probate process answers the question, “Who is entitled to these assets now that the person is no longer living?”

Initiating the probate process involves filing legal documents with the Probate Court, seeking authorization to access assets to sell, pay bills, and transfer them to beneficiaries. “Letters of Administration” or “Letters Testamentary” are necessary to access assets and can only be obtained through the probate procedure. In Florida, the Probate Courts mandate a Florida-licensed attorney to assist beneficiaries, with limited exceptions.

Dying Testate: Asset Distribution with a Will

When a decedent has a “Last Will and Testament,” this document is invalid until it is submitted to the Probate Court and reviewed by the Probate Judge. Having a Will does not make the process automatic or allow you to act without a Court Order. Upon approval by the Probate Court, the Will becomes the guiding document for settling the estate. A meticulous inventory of assets is conducted, with subsequent actions such as selling, liquidating, or preparing assets for transfer to beneficiaries. Throughout this process, beneficiaries must be notified and informed and, hopefully, approve of all that is done.

Dying Intestate: Asset Distribution without a Will

Dying interstate signifies the passing of an individual without a valid Will to outline the distribution of one’s assets. Contrary to a common misconception, when a person dies intestate, their assets do not automatically become property of the state. Instead, the Florida law of intestate succession determines the distribution of assets.

In the absence of a Will, assets are allocated to the “heirs at law,” which resembles the hierarchy of a family tree. It ensures a fair and lawful distribution of assets among eligible heirs, such as spouses, children, grandchildren, parents, and siblings. At Legacy Law Associates, our initial client meeting covers these intricacies and addresses concerns about the intestate process.

Initiating the Probate Journey at Legacy Law Associates

Embarking on the probate process is a thoughtful and comprehensive endeavor. At Legacy Law Associates, we begin the journey by meeting with the bereaved family. During this meeting, we outline the necessary tasks and identify responsibilities for all the parties involved, including the client, our firm, and other professionals, such as accountants, realtors, and appraisers, as deemed necessary.

At Legacy Law Associates, we understand the importance of clarity during challenging times. Fees and costs are discussed so the family can make informed decisions. A timeline is established so that the beneficiaries know what to expect. Each step is taken with precision, efficiency, and consideration for the needs and expectations of our clients.

Premier Probate Law Firm in Daytona Beach, Florida

Legacy Law Associates is ready to provide compassionate and experienced support during loss. We understand the urgency of addressing legal matters during challenging times and make every effort to accommodate your needs swiftly and efficiently. A phone conference can be arranged for those residing out of town to initiate legal proceedings. Contact us at (386) 252-2531 and let us assist you during this difficult time.