Probate

Jacksonville Probate Attorney

Losing a loved one can be an extremely difficult experience. That’s why our team of attorneys at Edwards & Edwards, P.A. are dedicated to making the process as stress-free as possible so you can have peace of mind during this life transition. We stay on top of all probate cases, speeding up the completion of the process to as quick as 30 days, depending on the complexity and the cooperation of the parties in each case. For more complex and high-value estates, the entire probate process can take about six months to a year to complete.

See how our probate lawyers in Jacksonville can help you navigate this challenging time. Contact Edwards & Edwards, P.A. online or call (904) 478-9255.

What Is Probate?

Probate is the official verification of a will. In Florida, handling a loved one’s assets and liabilities upon their death is called administering the probate of their estate. This process occurs whether or not the decedent (the person who died) had a will.

Under Florida state law, the probate process is mandatory if the decedent owned assets. It must occur before those assets can be transferred to anyone else—even if the beneficiaries are the decedent’s family members.

The Probate Process

Generally, the probate proceeding takes place in the county where the decedent was living at the time of death. At the hearing, beneficiaries and heirs are given notice so they have the opportunity to object or agree. Heirs refer to those who would inherit assets according to state law in the absence of a valid will.

The court then issues Letters of Administration, which is a document that gives the probate attorney authority to settle the estate. If a will is in place, it must be filed with the court to be proven valid.

Under the court’s supervision, the probate attorney will then gather and take inventory of the decedent’s assets, pay debts and taxes, and distribute what’s left to beneficiaries and heirs. The attorney must submit a final accounting to the court, showing all the estate contained, how the assets have been dispersed, and the plan for distribution. Anyone who objects can do so in court.

After everything has been allocated, the probate attorney files receipts (evidence) with the court and asks that the estate be closed. The court then issues an order closing the estate.

What Assets Go Through Probate?

In Florida, the assets that go through the probate process are the ones that the decedent owned in their name during the time of their passing.

This typically includes things like:

  • Bank accounts
  • Investment accounts
  • Life insurance policy
  • Retirement account payable to the estate
  • Real estate

Other assets that also go through are assets that were owned by the decedent and one or more co-owners did not provide information regarding automatic succession of ownership at death.

How Long Does Probate Take in Florida?

The length of the probate process depends on the type of estate that is being processed:

  • Simple Estate: about 3 months or less
  • Formal Administration: about 1 year
  • Complex Cases: 2 years or more
If estates are being disputed or in litigation, it may take even longer for the probate process to close. In some situations, documents may be missing, beneficiaries cannot be found, the assets cannot be collected easily -- it is possible for probate to go on for a long period of time. That is why it may be helpful to have an experienced Jacksonville probate attorney by your side.

Why You Need an Attorney for the Probate Process

Under Florida Probate Rule 5.030, probate cannot be handled without an attorney unless the decedent’s estate qualifies for a Disposition of Property without Administration. The only exception is if the party is the sole heir/beneficiary of an estate.

Additionally, Florida Statute 733.6171 outlines the attorney’s fees for probate. No matter how much or how little experience the attorney has, the base cost is enforced by the state.

Because an attorney is required for the probate process and the fees are already set, it is imperative to do your research and find an attorney who not only specializes in probate, but also has ample experience in the area to make the probate process as smooth as possible during this challenging time. These qualifications are exactly what you will find at Edwards & Edwards, P.A. With more than 50 years of experience, our Jacksonville probate lawyers have what it takes to provide you and your loved ones with nothing short of exemplary legal support.

We know this can be a confusing process, and we’re happy to answer any questions you have. Contact us online or call (904) 478-9255 to speak with a probate lawyer in Jacksonville at Edwards & Edwards, P.A.

Why Choose Edwards & Edwards, P.A.?

Many firms choose to exclusively practice one area of law. However, our attorneys have over half a century of experience handling many different case types because we know that any given legal dilemma rarely fits into a single practice area. We apply a multifaceted approach to every case, which allows us to anticipate the full range of potential consequences and benefits of each legal strategy. At our core, we are problem-solvers, and we look forward to helping you overcome your legal or financial challenge as soon as possible.

Give us a call at (904) 478-9255 or contact us online today. We offer flexible scheduling and same-day services.

The Sisters-at-Law are On Your Side

What Sets Us Apart
  • Over 50 Years of Combined Experience
  • Wide Range of Legal Services Available
  • Responsive to Client Communication
  • Sister-Owned Firm, Entirely Run by Women

What Our Clients are Saying

Testimonials
  • Professional and straightforward.

    “Amanda Edwards is professional and straight forward with you about your case. Would highly recommend her to anyone that needs assistance.”

    - Suzy McGuffin Smith
  • Always do a great job.

    “Very diligent and attentive in any of the legal needs that I or my company have had.”

    - Lucas Kuchler
  • I would recommend Edwards & Edwards to everybody who needs a lawyer.

    “They are very professional and make every effort possible to win your case. They explain very clearly what will need to be done and help you all the way.”

    - Severine Wider
  • I truly am grateful to the Ladies of Law and can not speak highly enough for them.

    “They know the law inside and out. Helped me through the hardest thing I have ever had to go through in my life. Very happy with the outcome. Don't waste your time or money with anyone else.”

    - Michael Call
  • An amazing lawyer I'd recommend to anyone else in need of an attorney.

    “Amanda Edwards helped my brother in a major way. He was in jeopardy of losing his beloved best friend. Thanks to her, he didn't have to put his best friend down.”

    - Shelly Russett
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Results That Speak for Themselves

  • Handled All Legal Matters for Family Divorce, Business Partnership Agreement, Probate, & Trust

    Handled various legal matters for one family, including divorce, revision of their business partnership agreement, probate, trusts, and title and closing of multiple residences and assets.

  • Accomplished Probate, Assisted Asset Liquidation Probate & Asset Liquidation

    Edwards & Edwards handled the probate and liquidation of real estate holdings on behalf of an incarcerated client.

  • Accomplished Probate, Assisted Asset Liquidation Probate & Asset Liquidation

    An out-of-state client had a death in the family. Probate and liquidation of the estate were required.

  • Stay of Foreclosure & Home Retained Foreclosure Defense and Bankruptcy

    The client was retained for foreclosure defense, but after initiating bankruptcy proceedings, foreclosure was stayed and the client was allowed to reorganize their finances and keep their home.

  • Criminal Record Expunged & Custody Agreement Revised

    While retained for a custody matter, the client's criminal record was expunged, allowing for revisions to his custody agreement.

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