Is a probate lawyer necessary for the Florida probate process? If you find yourself asking this question, you’re not alone. In fact, if you search online for answers, you’re more than likely going to find yourself getting lost in pages and pages of legal speak. Read through it all and you’ll probably still come away without the answer you were looking for. So, today, St. Pete probate lawyer, Matt Weidner, is going to break it down in the simplest of terms.
Is a Probate Lawyer Necessary for the Florida Probate Process?
During the past week or so, we shared a two-part article from probate attorney Matt Weidner providing a step by step account of the probate process in Florida. Many readers wrote in to say how helpful it was to have the process broken down into simplified steps, but a handful of people began asking about the necessity of a probate lawyer for the probate process. Today we hope to answer that question.
Is a Probate Lawyer Necessary?
The answer can be yes or no which is where a lot of the confusion comes from.
In virtually all cases of Florida probate, it’s necessary to retain a probate lawyer. A probate attorney can help you to both understand the probate court process and guide you through that process to ensure that it is done efficiently and in accordance with the law. In the case of most estates, this is a welcome source of help for what is a very complex and confusing process.
In a few select circumstances, a probate attorney is not necessary (although, they can certainly help the process along!)
Disposition Without Administration
Firstly, you May Not Need a Probate Attorney if the estate in question is very small and undergoing disposition without administration. In the state of Florida, an estate may go through disposition without administration if the estate is worth $75,000 or less. In this instance, the court must still consent to the distribution of assets without an administration process and once they do, the executor of the estate is permitted to distribute the assets of the estate to the heirs without jumping through so many legal hoops (as we see with most probate cases).
Estates Where the Sole Beneficiary is the Executor of the Estate
The other example of a situation where a Florida probate attorney may not be needed is an estate where the only beneficiary of the estate is the same person who is serving as the executor of the estate. In this instance, there is simply little need for a drawn-out probate process since there is only a single beneficiary.
Is a Probate Lawyer Necessary When Steps Have Been Taken to Avoid Probate By the Decedent?
In some instances, probate is just not necessary because the decedent has taken steps to ensure that their estate avoids the probate process BUT that isn’t to say that you don’t need legal assistance to get through the affairs of the estate. For this reason, it’s always recommended that you consult a probate lawyer to ensure that everything is carried out as it should be even if you don’t believe that a probate lawyer is necessary.
The Importance of Researching a Probate Attorney
When seeking a probate lawyer – particularly if you don’t believe that one is necessary – it’s important that you do your research. There are unscrupulous attorneys out there who will convince you that you need their services even when they are not necessary. The best thing that you can do is review local probate attorneys and make use of free consultation services. A good probate attorney should make you feel comfortable and be truthful with you about your need for their services.
At Weidner Law, we believe that it’s our responsibility to not only provide you with the best guidance in your probate case, but also to let you know when you can take care of an estate without the assistance of an attorney. It’s not that your business isn’t important to us, but it’s because it is that we will let you know when you can handle an estate on your own.
Now You Have an Answer to Your Question “Is a Probate Lawyer Necessary?” Are You In Need of a Great One?
Now that you have a better grasp of the necessity of a probate lawyer in most probate cases, if you are searching for a great St. Pete’s probate attorney, Weidner Law can help! To make an appointment for a consultation with Matt Weidner, just pick up the phone and call 727-954-8752.