The probate process is the formal legal process in which the affairs of an estate are wound up. The process can be complicated, and involves going to probate court, allowing for creditor claims, and arranging for the formal transfer of assets to beneficiaries or heirs. Executors play a vital role in the probate process, but heirs and other family members of the deceased also must know the laws to make sure the wishes of their lost loved one are carried out.
Barbara M. Pizzolato provides legal representation to executors and heirs during the probate process. Whether you need simple help with probating a will or a complex legal issue has arisen, including a will being contested, our firm is here to provide the advocacy and assistance you need. Call today to speak with a Southwest Florida probate lawyer to find out how an attorney can help with the probate process and to get answers to some of the key questions you may have including:
- What is the probate process?
- What is involved in probating a will?
- How can a Southwest Florida estate planning lawyer help.
What is the Probate Process
The probate process is a formal legal process that must take place after a death. Most all estates must be probated, except in limited circumstances such as when the deceased has engaged in estate planning to avoid probate. The process involves going to probate court and completing required steps to transfer money and assets to people named in a will or to those who will inherit under intestacy laws when no will was created.
What is Involved in Probating a Will?
The specifics of the probate process vary depending upon many factors including whether the deceased had a last will and testament as well as depending upon the value of the estate. Some of the different steps which may be involved include:
- Providing notice to creditors.
- Determining the validity of a will and interpreting the provisions of a will.
- Valuing the estate and the assets of the estate to determine if taxes apply.
- Facilitating the transfer of money and property to new owners.
Even when the probate process is straightforward, the executor must understand and fulfill all legal responsibilities to ensure the will is probated in a timely manner and to ensure every directive of the deceased is carried out. When complicated issues arise such as a dispute over whether a will should be considered legally valid, probate can become a very high-stakes, high-stress legal fight. No matter what happens in your probate case, Barbara M. Pizzolato has the knowledge to help make sure you can protect the rights of the deceased and the heirs.
How Can a Southwest Florida Probate Lawyer Help?
A Southwest Florida probate lawyer can represent executors to guide them through the fulfillment of their responsibilities, and can represent family members of the deceased or other beneficiaries who have been named in the will or who believe they should have inherited. With three decades of experience in wills, trusts, probate, and estate planning, Barbara M. Pizzolato can handle even complex situations. Call our offices today to get the help you need with the probate process.