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What I Should Know About the Florida Probate Process

Did you know that the probate process differs from state to state?

In Florida, in order begin the probate process, a lawyer is necessary to assist and give you legal guidance. Having an attorney for probate court proceedings is a state requirement. People are often weary about probate and want to avoid it at all costs. This is because the probate process can be expensive, time-consuming and stressful.

The attorney fees are typically the biggest costs in probate court proceedings. “Under Florida Law, as compensation for administering a probate estate, a lawyer can charge up to 3 percent of the entire estate value,” according to Robert D. Schwartz, a lawyer who specializes in Florida wills, trusts and estates. In other words, this means that the attorney is compensated from the estate assets. The attorney fees are agreed upon between the attorney and the executor, the person responsible for overseeing and administering the estate assets. However, these fees must be deemed reasonable because these expenses take away from the amount the beneficiaries would have received otherwise. It is important to note that if an estate plan was created previously, the probate process would be more efficient or even avoided altogether. High attorney expenses would be avoided.

Like an attorney, the executor can also take a 3 percent fee for his/her services under Florida law. Due to delays and postponements, the probate process can take years depending on the particular case. Although these 3 percent fees may seem minimal, these costs can add up quickly. For this reason, preparation for the unknown is especially important. The Florida Probate Code lists fees that the Florida courts presume as reasonable. The list can be found in this link.

Key Takeaways

  • Florida probate proceedings differ from other states.

  • Attorney fees are typically the highest expenses in probate court proceedings.

  • Attorney fees must be reasonable.

  • The probate process can be extremely time-consuming and take anywhere from months to years depending on the case.

If you are interested in receiving legal guidance or have any questions regarding the Florida probate process, feel free to call Lauren Richardson Law, PLLC.


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