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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 are proved in a judicial proceeding. Basically, probate is the court’s way of making sure a person’s wishes are honored. 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.

Call (727) 240-2350 to schedule a free 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.

Non-probate assets pass outside of probate. Examples of non-probate assets are:

  • IRA’s that designate beneficiaries
  • Life insurance policies that name beneficiaries
  • Assets in a trust that designates a beneficiary
  • Accounts set up with a joint tenancy with right of survivorship provision

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.

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.

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  • Jonathan Kinsella guided us through the process from an introductory meeting all the way through approval.

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    - Maureen

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