St. Petersburg Probate Lawyers

Florida Attorneys

Serving You and The State of Florida


St. Petersburg, Florida Probate Attorneys

Probate can be an emotionally and mentally challenging process. While the concept of confronting our own mortality is traumatic enough to take most Floridians out of their personal comfort zones, these complex-but-imperative legal practices can ultimately bring you peace of mind.

Probate Lawyers in Tampa Bay & St. Petersburg Areas

Estate planning is vital to the financial well-being of your family and loved ones.  A well-informed and well-executed estate plan will ensure that:

  • Your medical and financial wishes are carried out in the event of your death
  • Estate Taxes are minimized
  • Probate court involvement is reduced or avoided completely
  • Guardianship is established and executed efficiently for your dependents or minors

The experienced St. Petersburg estate planning and probate attorneys at The Lopez Law Group recognize that estate plans can vary significantly from one family to another. We focus on each individual client’s assets and personal goals to create highly-customized estate plans to protect their interests and bring comfort to their families. Call us today for a consultation.

St. Petersburg Probate Attorneys

One of the most significant legal factors is distributing the deceased’s estate to beneficiaries, heirs, and creditors. Probate is the process of examining a will, and at the Lopez Law Group, we can guide you through it with accuracy and care. After a loved one passes, the purpose of probate is to minimize complexity and see the family through a smooth transition. It is specifically designed to protect the desires of the deceased and to give relatives a roadmap to honoring their wishes. The Florida Probate Code can be found in Chapters 731 through 735 in the Florida Statutes.

Types of Probate in Florida

Formal Administration

The most common form of probate, formal administration, involves a thorough examination of the deceased’s will and assets to determine how those assets will be distributed.

Summary Administration

For estates with assets valued at less than $75,000, Florida Law provides an alternative probate proceeding, Summary Administration, as a “shortcut” to the complexities involved in the lengthy Formal Probate procedures.

Ancillary Probate Administration

Ancillary administration is a secondary probate proceeding that’s required when non-Florida resident own assets or property located in Florida.

 

St. Petersburg Probate Lawyers near meThe Probate Process

There is typically a legal process that must be followed during probate which is why it is a great idea to have an attorney present as much as possible. The basic steps include:

  1. Someone is appointed as the administrator of the estate. If there is a will, it typically names this person who is then referred to as the “executor.”

  2. The will then must be proven valid in court. State law governs the probate process so following state requirements is essential to moving things along.

  3. The deceased person’s property is identified and inventoried. Nothing should be distributed or sold until the probate is complete. Assets that are included in the probate process are those that were owned by the decedent before their death. These could be in the form of bank accounts or investment accounts, any life insurance policies or retirement accounts, and any real property which the decedent owned at the time of their death. This list is does not contain everything, but it is a start.

  4. All properties are appraised.

  5. Debts and taxes owed are paid. This is why probate is extremely important. It pays off any debts that the decedent had and helps wrap up the financial affairs of the decedent.

  6. The remaining assets are distributed according to the will and decedent’s final wishes.

When there is no will, the process differs slightly.

What is Intestate?

In the event an individual dies without a will, it is called “intestate.” Florida has specific laws about the distribution of assets if there is no will. It can be subject to certain exceptions that may surprise some people. This is why it is critical to have the right representation by your side. If there is no will and the decedent has no heirs, the state of Florida will step in and take any assets the decedent may have had. There are specific rules governing how the property is to be distributed if the decedent did have heirs, and those rules dictate where the property is to go in the absence of a will.

Who is involved in the probate process?

There are many parties involved in the probate process. You will be dealing with the local courts, local judge, the personal representative of the decedent, any attorney who may be hired to give legal advice about the probate process and help facilitate the process, any debtors who may have money owed to them by the decedent and if there is an IRS issue you may be dealing with the IRS at some point to square away the decedents taxes. As you can see, the list is extensive, and it can get overwhelming very quickly. Having an attorney by your side who can help make this process as smooth as possible is always the preferred route.

Get an Experienced Probate Attorney Involved to Help

We know this can be a trying time for everyone involved. The Lopez Law Group fosters a deep dedication to its clients. We understand how emotionally and physically exhausting everything can be. If your family needs legal experts who will take the time to customize probate for you in Florida, contact us for a case review today. We can be reached at 727-933-0015. Our St. Petersburg probate attorneys are standing by and are ready to assist in this trying time for you and your family.

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What Our Clients Say

A Godsend

Mr. Lopez was a Godsend and really helped me with my situation. Him and the entire firm were very diligent and helped speed the early stages of the process along due to a pressing situation. Throughout my experience working with the firm, they were always responsive and available any time I had a question or wanted to check on the state of affairs. Hopefully I won’t have to recommend Lopez Law Group to my friends or family, but if those unfortunate circumstances arise then there’s only one name I would trust. Thank you again for all your help!

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Amazing Amazing Amazing!”

I called multiple attorneys to resolve my issue and none had much experience as much as this form. Anthony was amazing and made sure that as his client I was satisfied and understanding with his work. Very helpful and very patient and I was able to communicate with ease. I will definitely recommend this firm if you have a landlord/tenant issue or just an amazing attorney who listens to his clients needs.

Ashley Rondon

"Awesome!"

Thank you Geoff Pfeiffer, for your assistance when my HOA pushed back on my installation of the Solar Panels on my home. Your succinct and eloquent statements of my rights to them turned a “solar panels are not allowed on the front side of the roof, to a 100% approval with no changes needed. Thank you for helping me quickly resolved what was gearing up to be a fight with the HOA.

Zulma Cintron Smalls, EdD

“I Will Never Use Another Lawyer”

We couldn’t be more satisfied with Sean’s work and are so grateful we chose him to represent us. He works so diligently and tenaciously to get results, and somehow manages to combine being a consummate professional yet friendly and approachable. I was honestly terrified of receiving the final bill considering the hours upon hours he invested in our case (texts, calls, emails, meetings, etc.) after hearing nightmare lawyer stories from other people, but when I did I was shocked at how little he charged us. I never thought I’d say I wanted to pay somebody more than they charged, yet this time I did. I will never use another lawyer; we will use Sean for any and all representation we will ever need, and I urge others to do the same. Thank you, Sean!

Loki Dobbs

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Lopez Law Group

700 7th Ave N
St. Petersburg, Florida 33701

P: 727-933-0015

[email protected]

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