As we age, it’s important to start considering the legal process related to your estate. No matter the amount of wealth or assets you have, the most important thing is that they are yours. And, when you pass away, they should be distributed according to your wishes.
One of the most important actions you can take to make sure that your assets are protected and wishes are followed is to have a strong will or trust. Due to legal issues surrounding estates and end-of-life issues, these important legal documents can be complicated or even contested. Our specially-trained attorneys at The Law Office of Amy B. Van Fossen can show you how estate planning lawyers help strengthen your wills and trusts.
What Is Probate?
One of the words you may often hear when constructing a will or trust is “probate.” Probate is a court-monitored process that can happen if a will or trust does not exist, is unclear, or is contested. However, if you have a strong will or trust, you can reduce or even avoid the probate process. This can protect your family from additional time, taxes, and court interference to settle your estate.
What Is the Role of a Probate Lawyer?
As with many areas of the law, it is best to get your legal advice from an attorney who specializes in the area you need. And, when it comes to strengthening your wills and trusts in Florida, our highly trained elder care and probate lawyers know the details in this area of law.
A probate lawyer may need to take on a number of different roles in the probate process. These may include:
- Preparing and providing documents that the probate court process may require
- Appraising personal property
- Figuring out where the deceased person held their estate assets (i.e. banks, stocks, etc.) as well as securing them for distribution to the beneficiaries
- Tacking down and managing any life insurance policy or payout
- Settling any debt, remaining bills, or taxes owed by the deceased person
- Appointing a personal representative
How Can Our Estate Planning Lawyers Help You?
While it is everyone’s hope that the legal documents and beneficiaries are straightforward, that isn’t always what happens. Due to our specialty in elder law, our estate planning attorney can help make your wills and trusts strong and clear from the beginning, strengthen any existing documents that you may have previously drafted, or manage any complications that come up throughout the entire process or after you are incapacitated or deceased.
The court-monitored probate process is something everyone would like to reduce and/or avoid, but you can benefit from having an expert estate planning lawyer in your corner to make that a reality. If you would like to discuss your existing wills or trusts, establish a strong will or trust, or simply have an initial consultation with compassionate, family-oriented attorneys who specialize in elder care, call our attorneys at The Law Office of Amy B. Van Fossen.