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Tampa Probate Lawyer

When a person dies, it’s possible that their estate may go through probate. Probate is a required legal process used for the administration of a person’s assets in the event of their death. The court supervises the process to ensure that assets are distributed correctly.

However, not all estates need to go through the probate process. It depends on the estate plan in place and how the assets are owned and titled. The process can be confusing

A lawyer is required for the probate process, so get started by contacting Westchase Law. Our Tampa probate lawyers can help you understand the probate process and save you time and money.

What Goes Through Probate?

Probate is required when a person passes away without a will or trust and has assets in their name only. However, if property, bank accounts, insurance policies, 401K plans, and other assets have joint owners or beneficiaries, then probate is usually not required.

Most assets are required to go through probate unless they are held within a living trust. However, life insurance policies and retirement accounts may avoid probate. Assets shared through a joint tenancy, such as homes and bank accounts, may also avoid this process.

Probate Process

There are several processes that probate can go through:

  • Formal administration. Also known as formal probate, this is the most common type of probate. The process starts once a person dies and the executor of the will (or other interested party) asks to be appointed as personal representative of the estate. The beneficiaries are given notice as well as a chance to object.
  • Summary administration. This type of probate is an expedited process that can be used when the total value of the assets going through probate is under $75,000. It can also be used to administer the estate of someone who died more than two years ago.
  • Disposition without administration. This involves skipping the probate hearing entirely. However, this is rare and occurs when the assets are minimal and valued at less than the amount of final expenses after probate.

Why Avoid Probate

Almost everyone dreads probate. It is a long, drawn-out process that is often unnecessary. Probate takes a lot of time and money. It involves gathering assets and paying off debts, which can take many months or even years, in some cases. Probate is also a public process, so if you’re looking for something more private, make sure you have a trust in place. Creating a trust can be a bit more costly, but it helps avoid all these legal headaches.

Contact Westchase Law Today

Probate can be a long, frustrating process. However, it is often necessary, so make sure you understand the laws involved.

The team at Westchase Law can help you handle your probate and estate planning issues with ease. Our Tampa probate attorneys can reduce stress during this difficult time. Call our office at 813-490-5211 to schedule a consultation.

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