Orlando Probate Lawyer

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At Jackson Law, we assist our clients with every aspect of probate, from guiding the executor of the estate through the proceedings, to representing surviving family members in probate litigation, to implementing estate planning strategies that can be used to avoid probate altogether. Under the terms of the Florida Probate Code, the estate of a person who has died with or without a will must pass through the process of probate.

Call our office at (407) 477-5046‚Äč today!

Probate involves three major actions:

  1. Identifying and gathering the assets of the decedent
  2. Rendering payment to satisfy debts owed to the decedent's creditors
  3. Distributing the assets remaining to the beneficiaries of the estate

Advantages of Probate

While a large percentage of people who come to our office do so with the intention of keeping their estates out of the probate courts, this is not true of everyone. There are, after all, certain benefits of probate. For example, probate gives you the opportunity to challenge a will that you believe your loved one may have drafted while not of sound mind or while under the undue influence of a person who did not have their best interests at heart. Additionally, taking the estate to probate means that the decedent's creditors will have only three months to pursue claims against the estate, after which their claims will be forfeited under Florida law.

Disadvantages of Probate

Many of our clients come to our Orlando probate attorneys with questions concerning how to avoid probate.

There are many reasons for this:

  • Probate can be highly expensive in terms of court costs, and these costs are to be paid to the court before the beneficiaries of the will receive anything in terms of an inheritance.
  • The same is true of debts, which must be paid prior to distributing any assets to the beneficiaries.
  • Probate will often leave little or nothing to the surviving family members. This is a great concern to our clients who want to make sure that their loved ones are able to enjoy the full benefit of the fruit of their lifelong hard work.
  • Depending on the complexity of the case, probate can take anywhere from a few months to an average of 12 to 18 months or even longer
  • The proceedings in a probate case become a matter of public record, thereby exposing certain information concerning the estate and your personal affairs to public scrutiny.

The experienced legal team at Jackson Law PA is highly knowledgeable. Contact Us at our Orlando office today! (407) 477-5046

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Strategies for Avoiding Probate

Probate does not apply in all cases. For example, assets that are held jointly by a husband and wife will pass directly to a surviving spouse and will not be subject to probate. It is also possible to sidestep the requirement of probate entirely by establishing a trust. Items that you deposit in the trust leave your personal estate and are no longer legally yours.

You can arrange the trust in such a way that you will still maintain control and possession of the assets. At the time of your passing, items in the trust will not have to pass through probate prior to being distributed to the beneficiaries of the trust, since probate only applies to those assets and debts that are in the name of the estate.

To learn more and find out how our Orlando probate lawyers can help, contact us now.