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Experienced Gulf Coast Probate Lawyers Manage Asset Distribution

Florida firm with office in Tampa handles key tasks for executors

Settling the estate of someone who has recently died is a detailed process that requires strict adherence to Florida law and the instructions of the deceased individual. At Westchase Law P.A., our meticulous probate lawyers guide estate executors and administrators through each step of the probate process so that property can be distributed efficiently, and unnecessary problems are avoided. From office in Tampa, we provide knowledgeable assistance in all types of probate matters, including situations where disputes exist or where the decedent has passed away without executing a will.

Skillful advisers counsel clients on Florida estate administration laws

We know that most executors and administrators are not familiar with the law governing estate administration. We offer sound counsel from start to finish so that you know what to expect. Florida uses one of the following probate methods depending on how substantial the estate is:

  • Formal administration — This is the process that many people think of when they hear the word “probate.” At the outset, the named executor files the will with the court and seeks to be appointed personal representative. Letters of Administration are issued giving the representative authority to bring assets into the estate and then distribute them in accord with the testamentary instructions. Our firm delivers comprehensive assistance with tasks such as paying expenses, cataloguing each property item, notifying beneficiaries and submitting the final accounting for court approval once assets are transferred to the proper recipients.
  • Summary administration — If the property that would be transferred in probate totals less than $75,000, summary administration may be used. Here, we can help the person listed as executor file a petition identifying how the decedent wished to allocate their property upon death. Rather than granting approval for various aspects of the probate process over several months, the court can issue an order shifting ownership of the assets.
  • Disposition without administration — Estates can be closed without administration if the decedent didn’t own real estate or assets equaling the cost of their final expenses. In these cases, beneficiaries can file a form requesting that remaining items be given to them.

Regardless of the procedure that fits your situation, we’ll outline each step beforehand and make sure that you understand which assets are not transferred through probate, such as life insurance proceeds, jointly held property and accounts for which a beneficiary was designated.

Thorough attorneys help people dealing with intestate succession

When someone fails to set up an estate plan and dies without a will, Florida’s laws of intestate succession govern how property within the estate will be allocated. For example, the assets of someone who is married and doesn’t have children with any other partner would go to the surviving spouse. Our firm assists administrators who are named to oversee the shifting of property to the family members listed within the statute. We can also explain how shares are handled when someone is single and childless or is part of a blended family.

Dedicated advocates litigate matters involving contested wills

Will challenges have the potential to dissipate estate assets and cause a great deal of stress. Whether you’re working to probate an estate or believe that your rights as a beneficiary have been violated, our probate litigation attorneys explain the legal framework and advocate for your interests. If a dispute arises over allegations of undue influence, insufficient mental capacity, accounting problems or improper execution of the will’s terms, we’ll work diligently to resolve the matter promptly and successfully.

Contact a knowledgeable Florida probate lawyer for a consultation

Westchase Law P.A. advises clients throughout Hillsborough County on a full range of matters relating to Florida probate proceedings. Please call 813-563-1491 or contact us online to set up a meeting at our Gulf Coast office, located in Tampa.

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Our Office
  • Tampa Office
    12029 Whitmarsh Lane
    Tampa, Florida 33626
    Phone: 813-490-5211
    Fax: 813-463-0187