St. Petersburg Probate Attorney
Step-by-Step Guidance through the Probate Process
The word probate means to prove. In Florida, probate court is where certain matters pertaining to a deceased person’s estate (and their assets) are transferred through a judicial proceeding. Basically, probate is the court’s way of making sure a person’s wishes are honored as they would have wanted them to be.
We are here to help you when a loved one has passed and assets need to be transferred to the beneficiaries. In Florida that process can be very confusing and we are hear to walk you through those unknown paths.
If you need a high caliber probate lawyer in St Petersburg, you can trust, the Hill Law Group can help you navigate the probate process.
- A Firm That Treats Clients Like Family
- When You Hire Us, You Get The Whole Team
- You Can Expect Fast Response Times
Call (727) 240-2350 to schedule a consultation at our firm today.
How Does Probate Work?
The basic goal of probate is to pass clear title to assets on to the rightful beneficiaries. Assets that are the subject to the process are known as probate assets. These assets pass either subject to a Last Will and Testament or without a will. Dying with a will is called Atestate. Dying without a will is called Intestate.
Typically, in a testate estate (with a will) the will names a personal representative to identify and collect the assets, pay the decedent’s debts and expenses, and distribute the remaining assets to the named beneficiaries. Through the will, trusts can be created for minors and other beneficiaries who need protection.
What If There Is No Will?
If the person died Intestate (no will), the State of Florida determines who will be the beneficiaries or heirs. Heirs are the spouse (if one) and children. If there are no children or grandchildren, then it would be other close relatives. Passage of assets in accordance with these laws may or may not be the way a deceased wanted the assets to pass. In any event, the intestate estate will have to be administered through the court probate process.
Is Probate Required for Everyone?
Probate is only needed when a person passes away with assets in their name only. Here are a few times when you may need to do a probate administration for your deceased loved one:
- There is a bank or investment account titled in the deceased person’s name alone,
- They had a home with no one else’s name on the title,
- They owned a business and there is no one to take over,
- They had life insurance with no beneficiaries named, or
- Someone holding assets told you that you need “court papers.”
Here are Some Examples of Assets That Usually Pass Without Needing a Probate:
- IRA’s that designate beneficiaries,
- Life insurance policies that name beneficiaries,
- Assets in a trust that designates a beneficiary, and
- Accounts set up with a joint tenancy with right of survivorship provision.
What Does a Probate Cost?
The cost of a probate is usually made up of court costs, bond fees and attorney fees. That’s why we only do probate actions when assets (like those above) exist.
Our Probate fees are usually set at a minimum fee of $3,000-5,000 or a percentage of the estate according to Florida statutes, which is 3% of the estate.
If the value of the estate justifies a probate, but your ability to pay the fees is limiting, call us at (727) 240-2350 to discuss your options.
Just as everyone has a different situation, each probate administration is different. We are here to help you tackle tough questions head on, explore your legal options, and find the best path forward. Speak with our attorneys today to discuss your case ad possible solutions.
Read more about What To Expect on the form below.
If you need a probate attorney in St. Petersburg, or the surrounding areas, Hill Law Group can provide the professional legal expertise you need and deserve. Call (727) 240-2350 today.
We proudly help clients in St. Petersburg, Tampa Bay and the surrounding areas with the probate process and to plan their own estate to avoid probate.
Shows great concern for our elderly and I would highly recommend her services- Previous Client
Jonathan Kinsella guided us through the process from an introductory meeting all the way through approval.- Rick
I have known April for over 16 years and trust her so much that I referred my own personal family members to her for documents they needed to put into place. April and her team are kind, caring, compassionate and are like family to me. I highly recommend.- Bernadette
We Are Client Focused & Results Driven
When You Hire Us, You Get The Whole Team
You Can Expect Fast Response Times