Two Things That Indicate You Need A Probate Attorney

There are countless situations when people get the sense they need an attorney but are hesitant to get one. For example, a person may sense their marriage is heading for divorce, but they don’t commit to getting a simple consultation with a lawyer. Why? It may be because they feel that once they do, they initiate a legal battle. Remember that when you meet with an attorney, it is confidential. Secondly, the lawyer may tell you that you may not need legal representation at the moment. In that case, at least you have opened the lines of communication. Lastly, contacting an attorney may prevent issues from escalating. 

Although we focus on probate litigation, we chose the family law reference for a reason. The probate process usually involves people you are very close with. We understand that you are trying to preserve relationships, and we know how serious this issue is for you. That said, we wanted to give you some signs that indicate you should consider calling a lawyer. 

Concerns About The Estate

Trustees manage trusts, and an executor oversees wills. In Florida, they are typically referred to as personal representatives. (Trusts do not go through probate.) Both positions carry a significant amount of work and responsibility. There are taxes to file, deadlines to meet, and documentation that needs to be completed. When the beneficiaries or heirs start talking about wrongdoing, you should strongly consider contacting a probate litigation attorney. 

Procedures Are Not Being Followed

Even as a beneficiary, you should have a basic understanding of what the probate should look like. For example, the personal representative needs to notify creditors and settle any debts left behind by the deceased before assets get distributed. Although there are several steps to ensure this, you should be highly concerned if the personal representative needs to follow them. 

Personal representatives who fail to pay taxes or abuse their power can be subject to lawsuits. As a side note, if you ever become a trustee or a personal representative, you should have legal counsel assist you for this precise reason. The funds for your legal counsel will also come from the estate. Not only is this legal, but it is prevalent. 

Speak With an Attorney Who Understands Probate Litigation 

Attorney Luis E. Barreto has spent his career representing clients experiencing will contests and probate litigation. If you suspect your personal representative or trustee of malfeasance or believe someone had undue influence over your loved one when they created their will, contact us today to schedule your free initial consultation.

Luis E. Barreto