For many people, the probate process is something they only go through a few times throughout their life whenever a family member passes away. At times, it can feel stressful and complicated. If you are entirely unfamiliar with probate in Pinellas County, there are many steps and different people involved. A probate lawyer can assist to make the process less overwhelming.
Who Can Hire a Probate Lawyer?
Ideally, the deceased had a will. In the will, they appointed a personal representative. In some cases, the deceased also hired a probate lawyer. If not, the personal representative will hire a probate lawyer. If there was not a will, the spouse or descendent of the deceased can contact a lawyer for help.
As the Personal Representative, What Do I Do?
Assuming you hire a probate lawyer, they will take care of the filings. They will also keep you informed regarding the things you need to do and when you need to do them. While the probate lawyer will handle many tasks, there are items you will need to complete. For example, you will need to:
- Pay any outstanding bills or debts once they are validated
- File taxes on behalf of the deceased
- Pay the attorney and other professionals handling the distribution of the estate
- Handle the distribution of the proceeds of the estate
- Close the estate
This is a very simplified list, so there may be additional tasks you will need to carry out. Hiring a probate attorney can help you manage and accomplish these tasks.
How Much Does a Probate Attorney Cost?
There is no set cost for a probate attorney. If the deceased had an attorney they were working with, they may have already negotiated a fee for the probate process. If so, that will be what you pay. However, probate fees may also be determined by the judge handling the final judgement or by Florida law. The personal representative is also entitled to compensation whether or not they hire a probate lawyer.
Let Wagstaff & Pitelis Help
With the help of a probate lawyer, you can rest assured that the details of your loved one’s estate will be finalized with expediency. Wagstaff and Pitelis can help you with the probate process anywhere in Pinellas County. Call (727) 584-8182 or fill out our contact form to begin.