Tampa Wills, Probates & Estates Lawyer
There are various aspects to an estate, such as trusts, powers of attorney, advance health directives, and more. The most basic, as well as most necessary, is a simple living will, which can be altered any time during the testator’s life. Everyone needs a will, whether they are a business owner, spouse, single person, wealthy, or poor. A will not only accomplishes the important task of bequeathing your assets and personal property, such as family heirlooms and photo albums, to your loved ones, but it also settles matters regarding your funeral and burial wishes, how you want your memories and life stories to be passed on through video interviews or written word, and all of your other last wishes. Within your will, the personal representative (sometimes also called an executor) to your estate should be named. This is the person responsible for carrying out probate. Our highly skilled Tampa wills, probates & estates lawyers at DSK Law are here to assist you with your case.
Probate is a mandatory process that every will must undergo. The point is to validate the deceased person’s will in court and to ensure that creditors are paid, according to the Florida Bar. At this time, challenges can be made against the will, which are commonly made by disgruntled family members that did not get what they hoped for, and believe that the testator was subjected to undue influence or that the personal representative has disregarded their fiduciary duty in some way. In order for the probate process to run smoothly, a will should be properly prepared and witnessed, as well as notarized. This will save both time and money, and stave off family disputes that may worsen relationships when you are gone.
What Passes Through Probate?
In some rare cases, no probate is necessary.
Probate assets include, but are not limited to, the following, according to Florida Courts:
- Bank accounts and investment account that are in the sole name of the decedent;
- Life insurance policies, annuity contracts, and individual retirement accounts that are payable to the decedent’s estate; and
- Real estate that is owned solely by the decedent, or real estate that is owned in the name of the decedent and another party as tenants in common.
Assets that do not go through probate include a home that is owned jointly by the decedent’s spouse, bank accounts and retirement funds that are owned jointly with the decedent’s spouse, and assets that are in trusts. It is important for an executor to work with a probate attorney for a variety of reasons, namely so that creditors are paid on time, creditors that do not have a right to the estate are not paid, taxes are filed properly, and assets are distributed accordingly to the will.
Trusts and Other Estate Matters
Not all assets should be included in a will alone. In fact, a revocable or irrevocable trust may be a good option for some estates. Other estate considerations should include health care directives, trusts for nursing home care, trusts for disabled adult children, and much more.
Let Our Tampa Estate Planning Lawyers Help You Today
If you need assistance with any aspect of estate planning, we can help. Our talented Tampa estate planning attorneys at DSK Law are eager to assist you throughout each step of your case.