If you own property, you need an estate plan. Without a drafted will in place, if you were to unexpectedly pass away, many of your assets would be distributed through probate court and your family would need the services of a Tampa probate lawyer.
What Type of Law Does a Probate Attorney in Tampa Practice?
Probate is the court process administered in each state for distributing a decedent’s assets when there is no drafted will (in some cases a will may exist). Any assets that were the sole possession of the decedent and did not have a designated transfer-on-death beneficiary attributed to the asset must go through this court process.
After assets are collected by the probate court, creditors are compensated (assuming the decedent had debt) and the remaining assets are distributed to the beneficiaries. These assets can include everything from real estate property to cars to bank accounts to pensions to life insurance policies. If succession of ownership legal documents were not created before death, any sole assets pass through this court process.
Ways We Can Assist You With Probate
A probate attorney in Tampa can assist you with your decedent’s probate estate in a variety of ways including:
- Determine what assets are required to go through probate
- Secure non-probate assets
- Handle all the legal paperwork required by probate court
- Determine all of the decedent’s debt owed to creditors
- Collect or ensure the transfer of all policies (life insurance, retirement plan, 401K)
- Monitor all critical aspects of the estate (bank account activity and estate taxes)
- Evaluate the best probate court option (Formal Administration or Summary)
- Acquire property value of assets through appraisal
Establishing an Estate Plan
Although a Tampa probate lawyer can help the decedent’s family with any probate court proceedings, you want your estate to avoid the process altogether. Probate estate proceedings take a significant amount of time to resolve (typically anywhere from nine months to several years), and the associated court costs and fees are expensive. When you create an estate plan, you can safeguard your assets and avoid probate fees altogether.
Our law firm can create an estate plan that protects your assets, allows you to control how your estate will be distributed at the end of your life, minimizes the taxes on your estate, and avoids the time-consuming and expensive probate process. Contact us today to learn more about distributing your assets through a living trust, naming transfer-on-death beneficiaries for your assets, appointing an executor to your estate, and even creating a succession plan for your business.
If you would like to speak with a probate attorney in Tampa, please contact us today.
Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.