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Boynton Beach, FL Probate Attorney

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There are a lot of things no one tells you about that happen when a loved one passes away – it’s one of the reasons death tends to be so hard on close family members. Besides the grief, there’s a hundred logistics you find yourself having to take care of that you didn’t realize were going to be part of the process or going to be your responsibility, like planning the funeral, or navigating probate. 

Our compassionate Boynton Beach probate attorney understands that the legal side of death can often be overwhelming. He will do everything he can to take care of probate for you so you can focus on moving forward. Call Elder Law, P.A. today to book a free consultation and learn more about the probate services we offer after a death in the family.

What Is Probate?

Probate is a Florida court process that takes the estate (all the possessions and assets that belonged to a deceased person) and distributes it to their beneficiaries according to either the terms of their will, if they left one behind, or according to the state’s intestate laws if they did not. 

How Does Probate Work?

There are many moving parts in probate. The will and death certificate are submitted to the court, and a petition must be filed to open the probate case. If an estate executor was not named in the will, the court will appoint one. This is the person who oversees the rest of the probate case, which includes gathering and inventorying the deceased person’s assets, getting those assets appraised, giving formal notice to creditors and heirs, settling outstanding debts with creditors, paying taxes, filing a final accounting, and more. There are various court forms and fees involved. 

In Florida, there are two types of probate – summary administration and formal administration. Formal administration involves all of the steps mentioned above and then some; it typically takes around 18 months to complete (anywhere from 6 months to 24 months, in a normal situation). Summary administration is faster, but only applies if the estate is valued under $75,000 and there are no creditors, so is not applicable in many situations. Our Boynton Beach probate lawyer can help you understand if summary administration can be an option for you.

Potential Probate Complications

Probate is generally a straightforward (although tedious) process, but besides being the last thing you want to be dealing with when you’re grieving, it can get messy if you’re not careful. If you miss deadlines, or make any mistakes in the paperwork, even unintentionally, you could incur fines or leave yourself open to lawsuits. 

There’s also the possibility that someone could contest the will. This is more likely to happen if the will wasn’t super clear, or if heirs are already estranged/in tense relationships within the family, or if sizable assets are involved and heirs disagree about the intent of the will. Creditors may make claims on the estate that may not be valid and that you have to resolve, which can take more time. Either of these situations can result in a legal dispute. 

How Elder Law, P.A., Can Make Probate Easier 

If you don’t understand what’s required of you during probate, you are more likely to get frustrated with the legal red tape and make mistakes that cost you unnecessarily. That’s why it’s recommended to work with our Boynton Beach probate lawyer, Ryan J. Smollar, who can guide you every step of the way to the fastest and most efficient resolution. He has helped numerous families in your shoes, so he can sympathize with what you’re going through. He will explain your options and give you reliable advice. He can take the burden of probate off your shoulders so it is less of a hassle for you during this already difficult time! 

You have 10 days from the date of your loved one’s passing to file a copy of the will with the clerk of the courts. If you are nearing this deadline, or if you have already passed it, let us help you with your next steps. Call today to book a free consultation and gain peace of mind! 

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Boynton Beach, FL Practice Areas

Natalie was amazing handling my dads medicaid application process, easy to communicate and we found the process very straight forward with their guidance. We would highly recommend their services to everyone who is in need of elder law, with our family all working full time and busy lives they gave us a peace of mind knowing they were working on getting things done.

Giovana H.

Ryan really cares about his clients, and it shows in the way that he advises them. He is extremely knowledgeable about elder law, and explains the rules in a clear manner. The issues can be difficult on family members to discuss, and he handles the material in a compassionate manner.

Joseph M.

Elder Law, P.A.

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