The job of an estate executor (also known as the “personal representative”) comes with a long list of tasks that must be handled during the Florida probate process, and there can be legal repercussions if those tasks are handled incorrectly.
Once you have been appointed as executor, you are considered the responsible party during the Florida probate and can be held accountable by the beneficiaries. If the estate is large or complex, the executor may be tied up for years with depositions and court appearances.
In addition to navigating the probate process, you will also be responsible for a number of legal and financial tasks that you may not feel qualified to handle.
Florida law also specifically requires you to retain a Florida attorney for the formal administration process. While you may think that any attorney will do, you really need an experienced Florida probate lawyer that dedicates a great deal of their time to helping clients with probate matters.
Even if you are the executor of a summary administration in Florida, here are three good reasons why you’ll still want legal help:
1) If the assets of the estate include real estate.
The executor is required to take steps to secure the property and ensure it is maintained and insured. In addition, the deceased’s Last Will & Testament may require that the property be sold, and that the proceeds be distributed to the beneficiaries. Only a probate attorney experienced in handling real estate matters for their client’s estates should be considered to guide the executor through this process.
2) If there is a strong potential for a will contest.
Unfortunately, will contests are becoming more prevalent as more people divorce, remarry, and have children from prior marriages or relationships. A will contest can potentially diminish estate assets as well as tie up the estate for years in court. Involving an experienced Florida probate lawyer early in the process may help avert a will contest if beneficiaries are assured that the estate is being handled properly, according to the decedent’s wishes and Florida law.
3) If the estate assets include shares of a business.
When an estate includes a business, things can get complicated quickly. If other relatives are involved in the business and there is no operating agreement that determines how the decedent’s shares will be handled, this can quickly escalate into a battle. Even if the disposition of the business or business shares are clear, there will still be things that need to be done, like getting a valuation of the business or putting it up for sale.
How Our Experienced Florida Probate Attorneys Can Help
When you are already grieving the death of a family member, the complex demands of the Florida probate process can be overwhelming. Should any conflict arise over the handling of an estate, skilled legal counsel becomes even more essential.
At Farshchian Law, we provide tailored solutions to complex matters to relieve the burden of probate for hundreds of individuals and families each year. To schedule a free initial consultation with a Florida probate attorney, please call us at (800) 604-1871 or send an email to Probate@JFRealEstateLaw.com. We provide probate, title/closing services, and real estate legal services throughout the State of Florida.