Dealing with the death of a loved one can be overwhelming. During what is often a difficult time, families are left with the responsibility of managing the deceased’s estate. Getting help from a Pensacola probate attorney is one of the best ways to take as much stress as possible out of this process.
At Emmanuel Sheppard & Condon, we have the expertise to handle your probate matters with compassion and dedication. Let our skilled estate planning attorneys take care of the difficult parts of probate administration while you and your family take the time you need to recover.
Probate is the legal process of managing someone’s estate when they die. An estate typically includes most of that person’s assets, like bank accounts or personal belongings.
When someone dies with a valid will, a probate court will administer the estate according to the terms of the will. Wills are usually just one part of an estate plan, which helps protect someone’s legacy when they die. In general, the Florida probate process involves several key steps:
With respect to distributing property, a decedent’s wishes may not be honored if the decedent died without a will.
On average, fully probating a will can take up to a full year. Keep in mind, however, that the actual time will depend on the size and complexity of the estate. Smaller estates, for example, may take less time simply because there are fewer assets to distribute.
Additionally, disputes between beneficiaries or arguments about the validity of the will may further lengthen the time it takes to administer an estate.
There is no legal requirement that you hire a probate attorney. However, doing so is nearly always a good idea. Probating a will can be complex, and an attorney familiar with the process can be an invaluable resource.
When it comes to probate, we can help ensure the proper administration of your loved one’s estate, including:
If you’re looking for an experienced probate attorney in Pensacola, look no further than Emmanuel Sheppard & Condon. For over 100 years, we’ve provided responsive and dedicated service to our clients in Pensacola and the surrounding areas on a variety of legal matters.
Another benefit of having a Florida probate attorney is minimizing the length of the probate process as much as possible. Because our attorneys are familiar with the probate process, they are able to help you make sure everything runs smoothly and efficiently.
Of course, hiring an attorney isn’t free. However, going through probate without legal assistance can add unexpected costs if the process drags on.
Going through probate typically costs somewhere in the range of 3-7% of the total value of the estate. The improved efficiency that comes along with hiring an attorney can help you keep that cost as low as possible.
As with other court proceedings, much of the record during probate becomes public. This is a major downside to probate and one reason why many people choose to use non-probate assets. These can include things like a trust.
In either case, our Pensacola, Florida probate attorneys can advise you on how best to protect your privacy during this process.
Unfortunately, families don’t always get along during probate. All too often, arguments about the distribution of the estate drive beneficiaries apart.
In some circumstances, one party may challenge the validity of the will, typically on the basis of:
One of the best ways to avoid these issues is hiring a Pensacola probate law attorney to assist with drafting and executing the will. If they still can’t be avoided, however, a Pensacola probate attorney can help you reach a resolution or defend against improper challenges to the will.
Whether you’re looking for help with probate or interested in strengthening your estate plan, Emmanuel Sheppard & Condon can help. We are a full-service law firm with a well-developed probate practice, and our attorneys frequently advise clients on a variety of Florida probate matters.
Contact us today online to schedule a consultation.