Serving as an estate administrator can be a privilege. It can also be an overwhelming experience—especially when family members disagree about the provisions of a will. These cases can cause legal, financial, and emotional disputes between family members. This type of litigation could be avoided by preparing a legally binding will with legal support in the first place with help from our Ocala probate litigation lawyer.
Unfortunately, probate litigation proceedings are sometimes unavoidable. At Bogin, Munns & Munns, we can represent you in and out of court. If you are challenging a will, if one is unclear, or you’re uncertain of what to do for your own will, our probate lawyer can help you clarify the confusion. We will work so your last wishes or those of a loved one are honored.
Florida Probate Law: What You Need to Know
According to Florida Courts guidelines, probate is a court-supervised process that catalogs a decedent’s property and assets and determines how they will be disbursed. The probate court process is lengthy and can be confusing to laypersons. Not all decedents’ estates have to go through the probate process in Florida. Yours or your loved one’s estate might be exempt if:
- A legally binding will is available
- A decedent’s assets are jointly owned
- Assets and property have beneficiaries
An estate has to go through probate if they have property and assets in their name and failed to make a will or estate plan. The safest way to help your loved ones avoid probate litigation is to prepare a will or estate plan. The probate process in Florida can take as long as a year. You can help your family and give them invaluable peace of mind by being prepared.
To consult with an experienced probate litigation lawyer serving Ocala, call 855-780-9986
How Intestacy Is Defined in Ocala
You might find yourself in probate court in Ocala for two reasons. First, you could wind up in probate court because a family member is disputing the provisions of a will. Secondly, if your loved one passed away without a will—called dying intestate—the probate court will decide how their assets are distributed. Normally, this is a personal decision based on the deceased person’s preferences.
When the probate court gets involved, asset distribution goes from personal to formulaic. Our law firm believes you and your loved one should decide where your assets go. That is why we help people just like you prepare wills and estate plans in advance.
How the Probate Court Distributes Assets
The decedent’s estate first pays probate court fees and the decedent’s own debts. Their funeral and burial costs will also be paid from the estate. Once all debts have been satisfied, Chapter 732 of the Florida Statutes distributes their assets as follows:
- The entire estate will go to the deceased person’s spouse if there are no living descendants
- If unmarried, the entire estate will go to the deceased person’s children in equal portions
- If the deceased person leaves a spouse and children, the spouse will inherit one half of their estate, and their children will share the remaining half
- If unmarried, but with living parent(s), the parent(s) will inherit the entire estate
- If unmarried, but with living child(ren), the child(ren) will inherit the entire estate
There are additional scenarios that determine inheritance based on family dynamics. Our wills, trusts, and probate lawyer will help you define your relationship and understand your right to inherit.
Ocala Probate Litigation Lawyer Near Me 855-780-9986
These Documents Can Help You and Your Family Avoid Probate Litigation
If you are ready to put your legal and personal affairs in order, we can help. Our Bogin, Munns & Munns probate litigation lawyer helps individuals and families in Ocala make important decisions now that will protect their families and assets later. You should consider making an estate plan if:
- You are older than 18 years of age
- You have any assets at all
- You want to decide where your assets go
We can help you create the series of documents you need to accomplish your goals and to help your family avoid the time, expense, and frustration of probate litigation.
Your will can be a standalone document, or it can be part of an overall estate plan. It is an instrument you use to define who gets what of your assets and real property. A duly created and recorded will lets your beneficiaries know exactly where you want your assets to go. It also lets you give your family peace and reassurance in knowing that your final wishes were ably recorded and are being honored and respected.
Your living will is a legal document that allows you to make health care decisions now that you might not be physically or cognitively able to make at a later date. You can also make your preferences for end-of-life decisions. This important document can tell your loved ones which medical interventions you want and which ones you do not want in the event of a serious or terminal illness.
Guardianship of Minor or Disabled Children
Assigning guardianship of your children is as much for your own peace of mind as for theirs’. With this document, we can help you choose the right person or people to care for your children when you can no longer do so. You can also name successive guardians in case the first is unavailable, unwilling, or passes away.
Power of Attorney
Your will and estate plan can have multiple powers of attorney. They can include a durable power of attorney and health care power of attorney. Unlike your living will, a health care power of attorney will allow someone else to make health care decisions for you should you become incapacitated.
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Leave Your Probate Litigation to Us
A will and estate plan can help your family avoid strife and gain peace of mind that is invaluable. Start preparing your estate plan in Ocala with help from our probate litigation lawyer. Contact one of our Bogin, Munns & Munns team members by calling (352) 690-7400 to start putting your affairs in order today.