Palm Beach, FL Probate Attorney

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If you are mourning the passing of a family member, allow us to first express our condolences for your loss. We know that death is hard, no matter the circumstances. Depending on the state of your loved one’s affairs at the time of their death, their possessions may have to pass through a Florida court process known as probate, or estate administration, before they can be legally transferred to you and the other beneficiaries. The purpose of probate is to tie up any remaining loose ends, such as debts or taxes, and make sure that the deceased’s estate is closed properly and the right heirs inherit the right assets. 

Probate can be completely overwhelming. That’s why it is in your best interests to work with a licensed lawyer who can assist you at every stage of the process. If you live in Palm Beach, or the deceased family member had property in Palm Beach, call our experienced Palm Beach probate attorney at Elder Law, P.A. today to schedule a free consultation and learn more about your next steps.

What Does Probate Involve?

Many people who are facing probate have never even heard of this legal process before and are completely unfamiliar with how it works and what is required of them. In most cases, probate begins with the custodian of the will filing the original copy with the clerk of the courts within 10 days, if a will was left behind. The clerk will create a file number for ongoing documentation. If an estate executor was named in the will, that person will be appointed by the court to oversee probate. A petition will need to be filed to open probate, and then there are a number of steps that will need to be taken before probate can be closed, including:

  • Formally notifying creditors, the public, and the deceased’s beneficiaries
  • Gathering and taking care of assets (including providing for the upkeep of a home or lawn, for example)
  • Inventorying assets and having them appraised
  • Settling debts with creditors and/or responding to creditor claims
  • Filing final tax returns and paying outstanding taxes
  • Distributing assets to beneficiaries according to the terms of the will (or, if no will was left behind, according to Florida’s intestate laws)
  • Filing a final accounting
  • Communicating with the courts
  • And more. 

Not all assets will have to go through probate – any property held in a trust, or that is a retirement or life insurance account with designated beneficiaries, or that was co-owned, can bypass the process. Only assets that were left solely in the deceased person’s name have to be probated. 

What Our Compassionate Palm Beach Probate Attorney Can Do For You

When you’re grieving, paperwork is the last thing you want to be dealing with. Probate can be time-consuming, and it can also be tedious and expensive. If you are the estate executor in charge, you could incur personal liability or additional fees for any mistakes (intention or unintentional) that are made, deadlines that are missed, etc. At Elder Law, P.A., our attorneys are well-versed in probate challenges. We have worked with hundreds of clients over the past three decades, and we’re here to help you navigate the maze of probate requirements. Our goal is to give you the resources and support you need to make the process as painless as possible. 

Call To Book A Free Consultation

Whether you are trying to learn about your options or you are dealing with family conflict or creditor lawsuits in the aftermath of a loved one’s passing, we can help. Call Palm Beach probate attorney Ryan J. Smollar today for knowledgeable and compassionate guidance! We offer free consultations so you can discuss the way forward with an attorney who cares. 

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Palm 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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