Florida probate lawyers, Weidner Law, have years of experience in probate law and today, attorney Matthew Weidner is sharing a few tips on getting through the probate process.
Florida Probate Lawyers Share Tips on Making it Through Probate
Probate isn’t something that most people think about until they become part of the probate process. This in itself tends to cause a lot of anxiety because when we are roped into something that we didn’t even know existed…well, it leaves us with a lack of knowledge and a lack of control. As top Florida probate lawyers, here at Weidner Law, we deal with probate frequently and we can tell you that it’s nothing to feel anxious about. In fact, we want to share a few tips with you to help you to make it through the probate process with a little less anxiety.
If You Have Been Named As An Executor or Administrator of An Estate, Get A Probate Attorney
Because so few of us know what probate is until we get involved with it, being appointed as the executor or administrator of an estate in a probate case can be overwhelming, to say the least. Fortunately, it’s not something that you have to manage alone. An experienced probate attorney can help you to understand the probate procedure as well as ensure that you take the necessary steps required of you as an executor by the required deadlines.
Don’t Rush Through the Process
There are many steps that are required in order for the probate process to go smoothly and rushing through the process makes it much easier to miss one of these steps or to complete a step improperly. Obviously, neither of these options is preferable and both can result in significant delays to the probate process (which is long enough already!!) Take your time on each step of the probate process and you’ll still spend less time than you would if you were to misstep along the way.
Find the Right Court
Probate cases must be filed with the probate court, but in many cases, this causes a problem for those unfamiliar with the law because not all states have a court named “probate court”. Instead, these states may require you to file with Surrogate’s Court, Orphans’ Court, Circuit Court, District Court, or Superior Court. The exact court you will be filing with depends on the state where you are filing. In the state of Florida, probate is a subset of the circuit court system.
Get As Much Information As You Can About Probate in Your Area
As if probate wasn’t complicated enough with the various court structures and the many steps required, it gets a little more complicated when it comes to the probate rules and regulations. Just like the court where you will file probate varies from state to state, the specific rules and regulations pertaining to probate vary too. Unlike the court filing issue, however, the rules governing probate can vary from court to court! This is just one reason why it’s incredibly helpful to get a probate attorney to help you through the process. Even if you decide not to retain a probate attorney, you should find out as much information as you can about probate in your area. The best way to find out this information is to visit the courthouse in person or visit the courthouse website where you will likely find a booklet outlining the steps and laws of probate for that court.
Don’t Get Frustrated
Because it’s easy to get overwhelmed, it’s also easy to get frustrated and that can cause you to make mistakes as well as upset the people who you will be dealing with regularly. For example, getting overwhelmed and snapping at the clerk of courts is only going to upset them and that is going to influence all of your future interactions. Just try to take things step by step, take your time, and remember that your behavior influences how you are treated by those around you – court staff is no exception!
If you do find yourself feeling overwhelmed or frustrated, consult a probate attorney or at least someone who is knowledgeable of the probate process. Sometimes just explaining why you are frustrated to someone who understands can relieve some of that burden
Keep Meticulous Records
If you are the executor or administrator of the estate in probate know that the more detailed your records, the better. If you think that something is too insignificant to notate, notate it anyway! As the executor or administrator, you will often be called upon to “show your work” and if that happens, having meticulous records can only help you to recall information and help the courts to see how you came to the conclusions that you did.
Understand What Your Probate Attorney Can and Can’t Do For You
When you hand over the probate process to a probate attorney, you will find yourself under much less pressure because your attorney will have plenty of experience in probate. Although your probate attorney can and will take over the bulk of the work for you as an executor of an estate, you should know that your attorney can’t do all of the work for you. It will still be up to you to pay any bills and taxes due on the estate, take an inventory of assets, valuate those assets, store those assets, etc. but you can relax quite a bit knowing that your attorney is taking care of the court-related paperwork and processes.
Looking For Florida Probate Lawyers to Help You Through the Probate Process?
If you are looking for an experienced Florida probate lawyer to help you through the probate process, Weidner Law can help. To arrange for a consultation with attorney Matthew Weidner, just call Weidner Law today at 727-954-8752.