Florida Probate Lawyers
Our West Palm Beach law firm provides comprehensive legal services to personal representatives, trustees, and beneficiaries involved in probate, estate administration, and trust administration. We offer services that include performing initial gatherings of the relevant information, ensuring that beneficiaries' rights to estates and trusts are protected, and concluding administrations with final asset distribution.
Attorney Craig F. Snyder helps you with your estate, probate, and trust administration needs and provides related estate planning services to clients in West Palm Beach, Palm Beach, Palm Beach Gardens, Boca Raton, Jupiter, and the entire state of Florida. To schedule an appointment and learn how we can help you, contact probate, estate, and trust administration attorney Craig F. Snyder today.
Frequently Asked Questions about Probate
Q. What is probate?
A. Probate is the process by which the court recognizes an individual's will, or if none, then “the will” according to state law. The court appoints a personal representative to administer the estate and ensure the proper distribution of assets to the intended beneficiaries. Click here for a general guide to probate procedures.
Q. How much does probate cost?
A. The cost depends on the type of probate filed and what assets are involved. Total probate costs are comprised of attorney's fees and related expenses, such as court filing and other similar charges. The Florida Probate Code publishes what it considers reasonable attorney's fees for ordinary services related to probate and trust administration. Keep in mind that not every attorney charges by this schedule. Common methods to determine an attorney's fee include charges by the hour, charges at a fixed fee, or some variation that may consider the size of an estate and the complexity involved in collecting all its assets, paying all debts of the estate, distributing the assets that may then remain among those entitled of the estate, and doing such other acts as are necessary and proper for the full and complete administration of the estate. Fee arrangements for probate representations must always be reasonable and consistent with the duties required to counsel and advise the client for the specific situation.
Q. Do I need a lawyer for probate?
A. In Florida, every personal representative — unless the personal representative is the sole interested person — shall be represented by an attorney who is admitted to practice in the state of Florida. While you may make it through the probate process alone, there are many nuances to probate, and navigating through those nuances can be tricky. Keep in mind, if you needed surgery, you would see a surgeon. You wouldn't do the surgery yourself.
Q. When is a Personal Representative required?
A. A Personal Representative is needed for many differing reasons. The most common reason for the appointment of a Personal Representative is when a person dies with assets titled in their own name and the Personal Representative needs to be appointed to administer the assets for the benefit of those who are to “inherit” those assets. Another not as common reason for the appointment of a Personal Representative is when a person dies and a wrongful death case needs to be filed. The Personal Representative is the person who is authorized to bring the suit on behalf of the deceased in a court of law.
Please call Craig F. Snyder, P.A., if you feel that your loved one died due to the negligence of, or personal injury caused by, another. Our firm can efficiently guide you in the commencing of a wrongful death claim as a Personal Representative.
Q. How long does the probate process take?
A. It depends on what type of probate is filed. For small estates, the process can be extremely short. For larger estates that are not required to file an estate tax return (Form 706), the process can take from 4-12 months. For estates that are required to file an estate tax return, the process will most likely last for at least 18-24 months.
Q. I know that a trust can avoid the probate process, does this mean that nothing has to be done after death?
A. No. Trusts need to be administered too! State law regarding trusts, as well as the wording of the trust itself, will dictate what actually needs to be done.
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We serve the communities of Palm Beach, West Palm Beach, Palm Beach Gardens, Boca Raton, Jupiter, and the entire state of Florida. We thank you for visiting our site and welcome the opportunity to serve your legal needs.