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May 15, 2020

Do You Need A Probate Attorney In Orlando?

Do You Need A Probate Attorney In Orlando?

When a loved one passes away, it is an emotional process for everyone involved. Then, there is the issue of how their assets and will are managed after their death. A probate attorney in Orlando will be able to navigate issues with wills and resolve issues with family members.

What does A Probate Attorney Do?

Unfortunately, your loved one can’t take their possessions with them when they die. These assets are distributed through their wills. This is where probate attorneys come in. Probate attorneys (also called estate or trust lawyers, help executors of the estate manage the probate process. Additionally, probate attorneys help with estate planning and drafting wills.

What is Probate Administration?

“Probate” is a legal process in which wills are reviewed to make sure they are legitimate. It officially proves the validity of a will in court. After a loved one dies, their assets are not immediately given out or their debts paid off. As a result, the probate process can be very long and drawn out.

Probate is used in court when a descendant doesn’t leave behind a trust. A personal representative is selected for probate. Usually, probate takes up about 3-8 percent of the total assets left behind in a will. This excludes taxes. However, an experienced attorney will help reduce the cost of the probate and resolve conflicts between family members.

Watch and Learn: What is a Living Will?

The Probate Litigation Process

When the probate process doesn’t go smoothly, a will may be contested in court. There are various issues that can come up during the probate process. For instance, the decedent had multiple wills or handmade amendments. There are many other probate litigation issues that can arise:

  1. Will contests (a formal objection raised against the validity of a will)
  2. Trust contests (a formal objection raised against the validity of a trust)
    Disputes over the management of the estate
    inter-family disputes

Probate Dispute

There are some instances that might lead to probate disputes and probate litigation. These instances (outline according to the American Bar Association (ABA) include:

  1. Some or all of the decedent’s children were left out of the will
  2. When non-family members or distant family members influence a will • If the deceased had a second or third marriage
  3. A child becomes a parent’s caregiver and takes over financial affairs.

What happens When There Are Disputes in a Will?

There are many reasons why a party would dispute a will. There are circumstances where family members end up disputing the validity of a will. This is one glaring reason why you want to have a probate attorney on your side. An experienced attorney will be able to mediate these disputes in a professional way. Some of these challenges include:

  1. When a decedent lacked testamentary capacity
  2. Will contains errors
  3. When the will was not properly witnessed or executed
  4. The decedent lacked testamentary capacity

What is Undue Influence?

Undue Influence is the act of influencing a party to make decisions that go against their best interests. The elderly are often victims of undue influence- especially when they are not of sound mind. Family members may try to influence their older loved ones to alter a will.

Conversely, family members can be wrongly accused of undue influence. The presence of a probate attorney is valuable in these situations. A probate attorney will be able to give an unbiased perspective and look after your loved ones’ best interests. Here are some signs of undue influence:

  1.  Isolation – Family members will try to isolate the will-maker. They might try to keep other family members away from the will-maker and cut off contact.
    Family Members That Are Not In The Will – Not being mentioned in a will isn’t automatically a red flag. However, if a family member had a good relationship with the will-maker, and they are not mentioned, something could be wrong.
  2. Caretakers Benefit the Most From a Will – There are both professional caretakers and caretakers who are family members. It’s not uncommon for caretakers to receive something in the will. However, it is a red flag if they receive a questionably large portion from the will.

An experienced probate attorney will be able to spot these circumstances of undue influence. Their job is to uphold the will-maker’s best interests.

Wills and Trusts in The Era of COVID-19

Due to COVID-19, court filings and hearings in Florida have been affected. With some social distancing measures still in place, the legal matters might be slowed down If you or a loved one are not able to physically meet with a lawyer, there you can submit your will electronically in Florida.

You will still have to meet with an attorney through Skype or Zoom to manage the planning process from home. They will be able to answer your questions and offer advice. If you go this route, your attorney will forward you the documents and instructions on how to sign them.

Why You Should Hire A Probate Attorney

A family member or personal representative cannot properly handle probate on their own. Many family members try to minimize costs by not involving lawyers. However, there are many legal and tax complexities in the probate process. You cannot handle that alone. It could take months and even years to navigate the process.

Aubrey Harry Ducker Jr. – Probate Attorney in Orlando, FL

The legal process is complex. There are several unique circumstances that you may not have considered when originally planning an estate. For more information on probate in Orlando Florida, Contact Lawyer Aubrey Harry Ducker Jr., Attorney, and Counselor.

Our Attorneys handle all legal representations ranging from Family Law to Elder Law. Call us at (407) 647-7887 or give us a message. You can also visit the offices of Attorney Aubrey Ducker Jr. Aubrey Ducker Jr. serving Orlando and surrounding areas.