Orange Park Probate Attorney

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Orange Park Probate Lawyer

Probate is the process of administering a deceased person’s estate. During this process, assets are distributed either by following a will or by Florida’s intestate succession laws if there is not a will. The probate process can be complex and time-consuming, so retaining an Orange Park probate attorney who is familiar with the process is crucial to ensure everything goes as it should.

Choose the Law Office of Douglas A. Oberdorfer, P.A. for Probate Assistance

At the Law Office of Douglas A. Oberdorfer, P.A., we have extensive experience when it comes to helping families in Orange Park with probate and estate administration. Our legal team has a deep understanding of Florida’s probate laws and is prepared to guide you through the process. Our team can work to handle the legal aspects of probate, provide you with support, and help you navigate the various proceedings you’ll be involved in.

What Happens During Florida Probate?

During probate, your local court will declare whether a will is valid, address any remaining debts and taxes, and administer assets to varying beneficiaries. Probate is required whether you have a will or not, as an estate cannot be legally closed until it has gone through the process. While every probate case is different, you can expect them to follow these same basic steps:

  1. The Will Is Submitted: The executor of the estate or a family member must file the will with the local probate court to begin the process.
  2. Executor Is Appointed: If the will names an executor, the court will formally appoint them. If there is no will, the court will appoint an executor who will manage the process.
  3. An Inventory of Assets Is Taken: The executor must identify and appraise the deceased’s assets.
  4. All Debts and Taxes Are Paid: The estate’s debts and taxes must be paid before any assets are distributed.
  5. Assets Are Distributed: Once debts and taxes are settled, the remaining property will be administered to the beneficiaries by following either the will or state law.

If someone dies without a will (intestate), the courts will determine to whom the estates will go, who will administer the estate, and how the estate will be administered. In this circumstance, like with a will, any taxes or debts owed by the estate must be paid before assets get distributed. Also, in order for the courts to administer an estate according to statute, the estate must have a fair market value exceeding the legal amount.

Types of Probate in Florida

Florida offers multiple options for probate administration to cover estates of different sizes:

  • Formal Administration: Most estates go through the longest type of probate court, formal administration, in local probate court. This process typically takes six months to a year or more if the estate is contested.
  • Summary Administration: This form of probate is simplified and provides a quicker way for individuals to settle smaller estates.
  • Disposition Without Administration: This is a non-court process for petite estates with small amounts of property and no debt or real estate.

What Does a Probate Attorney Do in Florida?

A probate attorney’s experience helps to see that the estate is managed as it should, according to the law, and without any unnecessary delays or wrangling. They play an essential role in the probate process, as it can become complex quickly and is often full of disputes or conflicts. Our probate attorney and legal team can assist you with various aspects of the Florida probate process, including:

  • Filling out and filing necessary court documents
  • Guiding the executor or administrator throughout the process
  • Ensuring compliance with state laws during each step
  • Resolving disputes among beneficiaries
  • Handling creditor claims and estate taxes
  • Distributing assets to beneficiaries

FAQs

Q: How Long Does Probate Take to Complete in Florida?

A: The time it takes for probate in Florida depends on how complex the estate is and how busy your court is. In our experience, formal administration of a probate estate (an estate that has a will) can take anywhere between six months to a year or longer. However, this can easily change depending on whether conflicts are present or if there are issues with a will and other issues. An estate that goes through summary administration may only take a few weeks to a few months.

Q: Who Pays for Attorney Fees During Probate in Florida?

A: As a general rule, the professional fees for a probate attorney in Orange Park and throughout Florida are paid by assets in the estate. The executor or administrator must make sure that the professional fees are paid as part of their duties. Generally, beneficiaries do not have to pay these probate attorney fees out of their own pockets. If you’re unsure how your attorney fees will be paid during probate, discuss this with your executor or your potential attorney.

Q: What Does a Probate Attorney Do in Florida?

A: A probate lawyer can take on a variety of duties here in Florida. From helping you file paperwork to supporting the executor of the estate, retaining an attorney during the probate process is critical. Your attorney can also help to settle conflicts, deal with creditors, handle tax issues, and more. To learn more about the different ways a Florida probate attorney can assist you, consult one of our team members as soon as you can.

Q: Do I Need a Lawyer for Florida Probate?

A: Legally, you don’t have to hire a lawyer for Florida probate. However, a probate lawyer can help the process go much more smoothly. A lawyer can help you navigate legal roadblocks, avoid pitfalls, and transfer ownership of the deceased person’s assets with fewer setbacks. Because probate deals with a wide range of complex legal issues, working with a lawyer who has experience and knowledge of these cases can prove to be an immense help.

Contact an Orange Park Probate Attorney

At the Law Office of Douglas A. Oberdorfer, P.A., we are committed to providing compassionate and knowledgeable legal support for Orange Park residents going through probate. Whether you need assistance with formal administration, summary administration, or any other probate-related matters, our experienced attorneys are here to guide you through the process and provide you with compassionate support along the way.

Contact us today to learn more about our Orange Park probate services.

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