Going through probate after a loved one passes away can be challenging. Here in Fort Myers, having an experienced probate attorney to guide you makes all the difference. Here’s what to expect from the probate process and how to prepare.
The first step is locating the will and getting organized. Search for any documents like wills, trusts, financial statements, insurance policies, etc. Then notify key contacts like financial institutions, government agencies, creditors, and utilities.
Next, meet with a probate lawyer in Fort Myers. They’ll help you file the will with the Lee County probate court and petition to open probate. This starts the legal process.
Over the next several months, the will must be validated, an executor appointed, inventories taken, assets collected, debts paid, taxes filed, and assets distributed. Your lawyer handles navigating court requirements.
They also assist with tasks like appraising property, liquidating assets, and navigating any disputes with heirs. Probate can take 9-12 months in Florida.
Finding an experienced probate and estate planning attorney is key. Look for a lawyer who is compassionate, yet efficient in resolving issues. Clear communication and expertise in Florida probate courts is also must.
The probate process involves many complex steps. But the right Fort Myers probate lawyer can make the process smooth. With their counsel, you can ensure your loved one’s wishes are honored efficiently.