In the unfortunate event of losing a loved one, someone has the daunting task of handling the estate which can be time-consuming and a difficult process. However, when you have one of our experienced probate lawyers at Moorhead Law Group on your side, we are here to guide you through this complex process. Our probate attorneys help personal representatives and executors through the probate process in Pensacola and the surrounding counties. Leave it to us to provide excellent assistance to you by helping prepare and file court documents, selling and distributing assets, and locating or notifying heirs.

Extensive Experience In Handling Probate Law

To get a better understanding of the probate process, it is essential to know what it is. Probate is the legal process that takes place after a person dies and involves the legal title of property transfer from one decedent's estate to the beneficiaries, all under the direction of the probate court.

Once an individual has passed, the administrator or the executor files papers in the county where the deceased lived. At this point, they are to present a list of the decedent's property, the inheritor, and debts to the court. Notification is then given to the creditors and relatives of the person deceased. After the proper steps are taken, the court will issue an order in which the transfer of the probate estate is given to the recipients. One of our Pensacola probate lawyers will be the representative of the estate when dealing with the probate court and have your best interest at hand.

When disputes arise regarding the disposition of assets and the rights of the beneficiaries to those assets, our attorneys will lead in the process to help you because we take every situation seriously with urgency and compassion.

When appointed as the Trustee, Executor or Administrator

There are specific steps a trustee takes in regard to furthering their power and objective of the trust they have been appointed to. For example, one of these powers would be the ability to open a bank account to use the funds to help pay for the expenses from the trust. Florida’s statute allows a trustee many different powers from buying, selling, borrowing, or mortgaging trust property for a period to prosecuting or defending an action, claim, or proceeding in any jurisdiction to protect the trust property. The trustee also has the ability to invest and purchase stocks, bonds, and more.

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Is it Necessary to have a Pensacola Probate Lawyer?

It is not a requirement to have a probate lawyer, however, the probate process should be handled with an experienced probate attorney who understands the complex process. When personal liability becomes an issue because of failure to account for estate assets, you’ll want the assistance of a probate lawyer.

Our firm gathers a great deal of information and we routinely handle estates throughout Pensacola and the surrounding counties. We know how to assist our clients by providing full-service reinforcement or execution of important processes such as filing court documents, distributing assets, communicating appropriately with courts, and the list goes on.

Our offices in downtown Pensacola and Pace provide a comfortable and spacious environment in which we provide closing services for real estate transactions. Moorhead Law Group is an approved agent for several major title insurance companies including First American Title Insurance Company, Chicago Title, and Westcor Title.

How does a Probate lawyer help?

  • Assist in the accumulation of the proceeds from life insurance policies
  • Recognize and secure estate assets
  • Help draft your will
  • Obtaining appraisals for the decedent’s real property
  • Aid a client with outstanding bills and debt
  • File and prepare the documents the probate court requires
  • Determining if any estate or inheritance taxes are due, and making sure those debts are satisfied
  • Assist in resolving income tax issues
  • Managing the estate checking account
  • Transferring assets in the decedent’s name to the appropriate beneficiaries
  • Protect estate against legal claims
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Things To Consider When Dealing With Probate Law

As with everything, there are advantages and disadvantages to the probate process. Here are a few things to consider, starting with the items that would be in your favor.

  • You have the ability within 90 days to close out creditors to the probate estate.
  • At times, the family and friends of an estate may not be in agreement with each other or some may claim the deceased person was not of sound mind. When this situation presents itself, the probate court allows a settlement between the potential heirs and those named on the estate. A neutral judge can help make a final decision to resolve the disputes.
  • When you think the creditor is trying to collect debts from the deceased, you can challenge the creditor’s claim in court and prevent paying debts that are unnecessary outside the probate process.
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Here are a few disadvantages to dealing with the probate process:

  • It can take up to 6-12 months in Florida and maybe longer depending on how complex the case may be. We can advise if probate is the correct course of action to take.
  • Because court matters can become public, you may risk those details you don’t want others to know about to be out in the open. The lack of privacy is evident.
  • Probate can cost between 2-5% of the total value of the estate which can be fairly expensive. The administrator on the estate will likely fork out a large chunk of change.

Small Estates

Depending on the state you live in, most have a fast-track or reduced probate process meant for the qualifying smaller estates. In this case, the probate process can be presented to a court administrator instead of going to the probate courts to save on cost and the time spent.

Being Well educated on Probate

When you reach out to the legal team at Moorhead Law Group, our probate attorneys can educate you about trusts, titling properties, and the beneficiary designations. Though it may be the best option to avoid probate to settle an estate, we can direct you in making the clearest and most logical decision for your estate.

Our probate lawyers have extensive experience in the distribution of estates. We can help you from the moment you receive a notice, filing the will, administration of the estate, and the probate court process. We guide you through every step along the way.
When the terms of a will don’t end up being in everyone’s favor, conflicts can arise causing heartache and separation. We can help reduce the tension and be a smooth facilitator in the probate process for all involved.
Probate can be a very long process that can drag out over many months. The in-depth details can be hard to navigate when an inexperienced executor with next to nothing in legal knowledge is managing the estate settlement. We provide invaluable aid and become the problem solver when obstacles arise.
Stephen Moorhead has been practicing law in Florida for over 34 years.
We take pride in responding quickly to our clients and always keeping them well informed.
We treat people as we would want to be treated, and is if their case is our only case.