Tampa Probate Law Attorney
Planning for a time when you are no longer here to help your family is never fun. However, it is one of the most important things you can do. In fact, proper estate planning can help you as well as your loved ones, in the event you are ever unable to make important decisions for yourself. Below, our Tampa probate law attorney outlines the probate and intestacy laws in Florida, as well as other important elements of estate planning.
The Intestacy Laws in Florida
When a person dies without a will, they are considered to have died ‘intestate’. Dying intestate does not mean a person’s estate belongs to the state. It simply means that state law will dictate how their property is distributed. It is critical for everyone to have a will so they can stipulate how their assets are distributed, and not the law.
For example, the intestacy laws dictate that if you are married, your spouse will receive the entire estate, even if you have children together. If you have different wishes, you must draft a will outlining them so your family is protected.
What is Probate in Florida?
Probate is a process during which a probate judge administers a deceased’s estate according to the law. The will is filed and family members have a chance to contest it under certain circumstances. If you have not already named a personal representative, the court will appoint one. The personal representative then gathers and distributes your assets. The personal representative is also responsible for notifying your creditors, who can then make a claim against your estate.
Not all estates have to pass through probate. For example, if assets were placed into a trust, they can be distributed without the need for probate. Probate can be a very long and stressful process that can take anywhere between six and twelve months. A probate law attorney can advise of the tools available that can help your loved ones avoid the process.
Other Important Estate Planning Tools
A will is the foundation of most great estate plans, but they are not the only documents to include in yours. A strong estate plan will not only protect your loved ones after you pass away, but also you while you are still alive. In the event that you can no longer make decisions for yourself at some point, you can include advance directives that appoint someone to make these decisions for you. Some of the most important advance directives are power of attorney and a health care designation.
A revocable trust is another document that can greatly help your loved ones in the event that you pass away. When you place property into a trust, it does not have to go through probate, meaning that your beneficiaries can receive them even faster than if they had to be administered by the court.
Our Probate Attorney in Tampa Can Advise On Your Case
If you have not done it yet, now is the time to draft an estate plan that will protect you and your family in the years to come. At HD Law Partners, our Tampa probate attorney can help you draft a customizable plan that will take care of your needs now and in the future. Call or text us now at 813-964-7878 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation.