Practice Areas

If you need a probate lawyer in Florida, our team at Probate Counsel can help. With over 32 years of experience, we can expedite processes and reduce costs.

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Probate

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Will and Trust

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Estate Planning

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Ancillary Administration

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Guardianship

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Taxation

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High-quality Legal Services.

You may have heard that probate will take a long time. The probate process can take some time to get the Court Orders.

However, I have had several cases recently where I obtained the Orders needed for closing in less than 6 months and in one case, less than 4 months.

I do not just mail it in, I follow up and make sure the case progresses in order to avoid unnecessary delays. The earlier the probate case is filed, the faster the heirs will get their inheritance.

Unlike fine wine, I find that delays normally will not make any pending issues better or solve them.

Probate & Inheritance Attorney in Florida

If anyone is selling you a probate service package, we’re afraid you’re in for a surprise. Because the circumstances surrounding probate are as varied as they come, Martínez Gil Domínguez PLLC (MGD) is an experienced probate lawyer in Florida that offers probate solutions based exclusively on a client-to-client basis. The only way to approach it is through proven experience —we’re talking trackable results—, a knowledge of ongoing state probate and inheritance legislation, and changes —if any— introduced with time.

Understanding the probate system is a complicated affair. Even if the deceased person left specific and detailed instructions as to his/her inheritors and who the executor or personal representative should be, they too will need to consult and hire the services of a probate attorney.

Probate Estate: Same-State
Administration

Florida provides for two types of probate administration and an alternate:

  • Formal Administration

  • Summary Administration
  • Disposition Without Administration (alternate)

Formal Administration applies when the decedent died less than two years back and the probate estate exceeds $75,000 in value. Hiring a non-experienced lawyer for this could cause long delays and may extend for years, but hiring a high experienced probate lawyer in Florida like Ernesto Martinez Jr., can help reduce the length of the process to only 6-12 months.

Summary Administration is a simplified procedure that applies when the decedent died over two years back or when the probate estate does not exceed $75,000. It takes anywhere between two to three months. The two-year provision provides a statutory limit for creditors to file claims against the decedent’s estate, except for property, which is exempt from these claims. However, the inheritors remain liable for claims against the decedent during these two years after the date of death.

Disposition Without Administration is used to request the release of assets of the deceased to the person who paid funeral and/or final medical bills. If the transfer is being requested to a person who has not paid final expenses, consent allowing such a transfer must be completed to enable the transfer.

Probate Estate: Litigation

However much we might lament it, litigation, claims and going to court is as much a reality of our lives as going on holiday with the family from time to time. This in spite of the fact that a decedent might have transferred property and assets to his/her beneficiaries of choice via a last will and/or testament; or that a revocable trust might have been set up in life precisely to avoid any and all expenses from probate.

Disputing a last will or testament is more commonplace than people think, as well drafted and thorough as they may be. Disputes may arise from:

  • Unequal distribution
  • Disinheritance
  • Second marriages
  • Bickering, quarrels, distance or fall outs of family members
  • Defective instruments
  • Remarriage

  • Divorce and step children

  • Incapacity due to illness or mental state

  • Under influence
  • Fraud & elder abuse
  • Violation of homestead law
  • Disinheriting of the surviving spouse

Experienced Wills & Trusts Lawyer in Florida

Wills are written documents expressing a deceased person’s wishes, real estate, or cash. It also can include naming guardians of minor children to bequeath objects and cash assets to either friends, relatives, or charity. A will becomes active only after one’s death. On the other hand, a revocable living Trust is active the same day you create it and a grantor may list the distribution of assets before one’s death and can’t avoid probate.

All wills must go through a legal process called probate, where a judge determines the heirs and must approve the distribution of assets. This process can be lengthy and potentially contentious if family members contest the will, Trusts are generally to avoid providing when the grantor dies, and it avoids the substantial delays that probate causes.

It is very important to settle your affairs earlier rather than later in life. Setting up a will or a trust, or both can ensure your assets and possessions go to your loved ones.

Contact Ernesto Martinez Jr. PA. an experienced probate lawyer in Florida, to Avoid disinheriting your children by creating a will.

Estate Planning

Estate planning can provide a plan of action upon death that protects your family legacy and distributes your assets to your loved ones.

Assets that could make up an individual’s estate include houses, cars, stocks, artwork, life insurance, pensions, and debt. Individuals have various reasons for planning an estate, such as preserving family wealth, providing for a surviving spouse and children, funding children’s or grandchildren’s education, or leaving their legacy behind for a charitable cause. Contact today Ernesto Martinez Jr. PA. an experienced estate planning and probate lawyer in Florida.

Taxation

When a person passes away, their assets could be subject to federal estate taxes and inheritance taxes, depending on where they lived and how much they were worth.

Inheritance taxes are complex and change constantly. Most of us engage with them during a stressful period of our lives. Dealing with taxation issues requires having a law degree, master in tax and CTA certificate. It’s wise to contact Ernesto Martinez Jr. and be ready for the inevitable by preparing in advance, minimizing the tax your beneficiaries will have to pay when they inherit it.

Ancillary Administration

The administration of the probate estate falls under the jurisdiction of the state wherein its assets are located. Specifically, in Florida, probate proceedings take place in the county of residence of the decedent at the time of his/her death. Except that at times the decedent owned probate assets in another state in the US or abroad. What happens if the decedent owns assets in another state or abroad? The answer is ancillary administration.

If the decedent dies in another estate an Ancillary administration needs to be open in Florida in the county where the property is located. Therefore it is important to hire a Florida lawyer to open an Ancillary case in the county where the property is located.

Guardianship

If a person becomes incapacitated or they can no longer manage their affairs, just dealing with the new reality can send family members into bitter confrontation. Preparing for potential disabilities is the best way to ensure your peace of mind and your family’s stability.

Guardianship is a true security net. If no preparations were made prior to a loved one’s incapacitating disability, this court-supervised process will protect the needs, interests, and rights of the disabled person by naming a qualified guardian once the incapacity is determined by the court, through exacting evidence, namely the examination of the incapacitated person’s mental and functional health.

Appointing a guardian aims to protect and provide for the needs of the disabled loved one, all the while affording him/her as much agency and autonomy as legally possible.

Guardianship is a serious matter and should never be taken lightly. It is the best complement of pre-probate action. The best representation available, precisely the one we secure, will work in the best interest of your incapacitated loved ones and family members.

In many cases, guardianship may be needed for those suffering from Alzheimer’s or other mental conditions. Guardianship is also provided for minor children if their parents have deceased or are incapable of taking care of them.

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