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Probate Attorney West Palm Beach

If you’ve recently lost a loved one and you’re now facing the probate process, you may be overwhelmed. They can be fairly tricky, particularly when it comes to taxes and even navigating relationships within your own family.

Fortunately, though, you don’t have to do this alone. At Elder Law, probate lawyer (also known as an executor lawyer) Ryan Jay Smollar, has the resources to represent those involved in the estate. Whether you’re just trying to figure out what to do next or you’re dealing with quite a bit of family conflict after the death of a loved one, he can help.

What is Probate?

It is essentially the legal process that happens after a person dies. During this, the person’s assets are identified and assessed, their debts are paid, and the remaining amount is given to the beneficiaries. The process is supervised by a court judge and administered by a personal representative. That can be a person, bank or trust company appointed by the judge.

​In most cases, probate administration in Florida requires representation by a licensed lawyer. Elder Law, P.A. is committed to helping families with all of their needs. Mr. Smollar has worked with hundreds of clients to help protect the assets involved, and over the past three decades, he’s provided probate legal services throughout Palm Beach County.

When is Probate Needed in South Florida?

Not every asset left behind after a death will need to go through the process. For example, property held in a trust does not go through probate, nor do life insurance proceeds, retirement accounts, or funds payable-on-death in a bank account. Instead, only assets left that were solely in the decedent’s name will need to go through the process. Any other assets that were co-owned and did not have a provision for automatic succession upon death will also need probate administration.

It’s here where things get really complex. You’re going to want the services of a probate law firm because there are a number of legal steps that need to be taken to ensure efficient management. Attorney Ryan Jay Smollar of Elder Law, P.A., is an attorney who is well-versed in the challenges ahead of you. He’s here to help you navigate the often challenging maze of requirements in court. He offers a wealth of legal knowledge and resources and works to make the process as painless as possible.

Why Is Probate Important?

It is exercised to manage the decedent’s estate and finalize any financial affairs. This includes paying the costs, the decedent’s funeral expenses, any outstanding debts the decedent has, and then disbursing the remainder to the beneficiaries.

It’s essentially a way to determine the validity of a will, and ensure there are no outstanding debts against the estate to help safeguard the assets that are left. It’s also a good way to help close out the estate.

If you’re like many people, you’d probably rather avoid it because it can be so lengthy, but it’s often a necessary step. Fortunately, Elder Law, P.A. can help you throughout the process and expedite a resolution.

How Does The Probate Process Work in Florida?

There are a number of things that need to happen immediately after a person has died. Step one is to contact a probate attorney who can help. From there, the custodian of the will has to file an original copy of the will with the clerk of the courts within ten days.

The clerk then creates a file number, and keeps an ongoing file of the documentation necessary to move forward. Mr. Smollar will walk you through those steps, filing all of the necessary paperwork, arranging the required services, and accompanying you to any required court appearances.

If the decedent did not have a will, this is considered “intestate.” Although a person may have died intestate, their assets will not automatically go to the state. The assets will be distributed to the deceased person’s heirs according to the Florida intestate statute. In these cases, having legal representation is an absolute must. Elder Law can help you with the necessary paperwork to help identify what should happen next. The intestate statute helps to spell out what should go where, but it can be helpful to have an attorney on your side during this process.

Working With A West Palm Beach Probate Lawyer

If you need to navigate probate, call an experienced local probate attorney at Elder Law, P.A. in Palm Beach County. Located in Lantana, Elder Law, P.A. services West Palm Beach, Palm Beach Gardens, Wellington and all of South Florida. Ryan Jay Smollar will help you begin the process, explain the entire concept and your role, and help you make an informed decision about how to move forward.

His knowledge, experience, and compassion, that are shared by his staff, set the firm apart. If you need help now, call or schedule a free consultation today.

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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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