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Probate

Skilled Estate Planning Attorney Helps You Navigate the Probate Process in Pensacola

Knowledgeable lawyer guides you through the steps of executing a will in Florida

If you are appointed executor of a loved one’s will, an attorney can ease the burden you face by guiding you through the probate process. At the Law Office of Zachary T. Magaha, I sympathize with your situation and patiently explain the law to you in a simplified manner. In addition to helping you fill out and submit paperwork, I can assist you in gathering assets, locating beneficiaries, and performing your other probate obligations. Whether you are seeking advice on being a personal representative or need information on avoiding probate, you can count on me to provide you with trusted counsel.

Developing the best strategy for fairly probating an estate

The probate process largely depends on the size of the estate. For example, if a person dies without any real property, has only exempt assets, and has no assets that would exceed their funeral costs, probate is not required in Florida. Instead, the person responsible for paying for the burial and funeral services of the deceased may be reimbursed from assets of the estate.

If you are dealing with an estate where the deceased passed away two years ago, or where the estate is valued at no more than $75,000, you may file a petition for a summary administration. This is a simplified version of probate. Estates which are not eligible for summary administration may have to go through formal probate. While probate is often viewed as expensive and time-consuming, it can unveil issues such as will fraud, coercion, and disputes among beneficiaries. My skill in all aspects of estate planning enables me to quickly determine what you will need to do to settle your loved one’s estate.

Probating a will in Florida

The first step to probating a will in Florida is for the court to appoint a personal representative of the estate. In most cases, this person will be named in the will, but not all named representatives are approved, for a variety of reasons. If a representative is not named in the will, any interested party may petition the court to become a personal representative.

If you are appointed the personal representative of an estate, you have many responsibilities. I carefully guide you through each of your tasks until the probate process concludes. I will help you to:

  1. Identify, locate, and collect all assets of the estate.
  2. Notify heirs and beneficiaries that the probate process has begun.
  3. Locate and notify creditors of the estate that the probate process has begun.
  4. Pay off valid creditors’ claims with estate assets.
  5. File tax returns and pay off taxes on the estate.
  6. Distribute estate assets to heirs and beneficiaries.

One of your most important jobs as personal representative is to value and manage assets of the estate. I can help you inventory and assess the fair market value of the deceased’s property and assets. Depending on the complexity of the estate, certain assets may need to be liquidated to pay outstanding claims. I can help you determine the most cost-effective means of handling probate so the decedent’s wishes are fulfilled.

Contact a trusted probate attorney in Pensacola

The Law Office of Zachary T. Magaha can guide you through each step of the probate process. Call 850-480-7235 or contact me online to schedule a free initial consultation at my Pensacola office.

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  • Pensacola Office
    812 N. Spring Street
    Pensacola, Florida 32501
    Phone: 850-480-7235