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Wills Archives

How long does the probate process take?

One of the main reasons that estate planning experts in Miami recommend that you and your loved ones start addressing end-of-life issues when you are young is to avoid having your estate go to probate. Yet despite these expert recommendations, a good number of estate cases still end going through the state’s probate courts every year. According to information shared by the Florida Office of the State Courts Commissioner, 115,746 cases were filed in the state in 2014-15 fiscal year.

Detailing the duties of a custodian of a will

We here at The Law Offices of Frye and Vazquez, P.L. are often questioned by Miami residents about the duties that interested parties to an estate have regarding the provisions of a will. Yet few may be concerned about the management and preservation of the actual will itself. However, without the actual physical document, all matters concerning the disposition of an estate may be moot. Thus, if you have been asked to be the custodian of a will, you may want to know what duties such a role requires.

Will invalidated by court after being sued by decedent's friends

One of the main reasons why so many in Miami are encouraged to begin the estate planning process early in their adult lives is because having a will, a trust instrument or other documentation might limit the chances of there being a dispute amongst beneficiaries. However, the mere presence of such estate planning articles may not guarantee that disagreements may not arise. If the feeling exists amongst certain parties to an estate that the articles detailing is disbursement are not reflective of their loved one's actual wishes, they may feel a moral obligation to challenge them.

Man at odds with deceased partner's relatives over brownstone

One of the primary reasons why so many estate planning experts in Miami encourage people to have a will is so that disputes over the rightful ownership of their property and assets can be avoided. When one dies without a will, he or she is said to have died "intestate." Florida has laws that spell out the state's intestate succession policies. These laws name the deceased's family and next of kin as the heirs to his or her estate. Some may have no issues with this. Others, however, may want to first consider any special relationships they may have with people who they would like to benefit from their assets, and how their inaction may affect those parties.

Estate administrator challenging late woman's final will

Miami residents may be encouraged by estate planning experts to begin drafting the instruments that detail how they would prefer that their assets and property be dispersed early on in their lives. There may be wisdom in such counsel, given that most may not know when they will meet their end. However, one should also keep in mind that a person's familial and social relationships may change over time, thus necessitating that he or she revise any estate planning documents to ensure that they reflect his or her current desires. If and when such changes are made, it may not be surprising that some of those affected by them (in a negative way) may choose to challenge their validity.

What is Florida's process for intestate succession?

Despite the best efforts of estate planning experts, many in Miami still may not have any form of a written will. If you count yourself amongst this group, then you may be running the risk of having the state decide where your assets should go once you are gone. If you do happen to die without a will, your estate will then be dispersed through a process known as intestate succession.

Is it time to revise your will?

Documenting your wishes in a will is one of the best ways to protect them and ensure they are properly carried out. It can be a difficult process to create a will, but once you have one in place, you can be confident that you, your assets and your loved ones are taken care of.

Challenging a will: who can do it?

You can probably imagine this scene in a movie: a grieving family is together in a room with a lawyer as they prepare to learn what their deceased loved one has left them in their will. The lawyer looks over the documents and start reading the deceased person's last wishes, and as he goes down the list he finally arrives at the treasured home that everyone wants to receive. The lawyer reads off the name of the beneficiary, and everyone gasps in surprise: it's the immature family member that did nothing to "deserve" the asset.

Why wills are important

For Florida residents, having a solid estate plan in place is important to ensure one's assets and property are distributed according to one's wishes after death. Wills are typically considered the cornerstone of any estate plan because they are relatively simple to create and most people are familiar with their concept. However, people may not realize all that wills can accomplish as part of their estate plan.

What Our Clients Are Saying

  • I have known and worked with Austin Frye and his team since 2008. In that time he has helped serve both my business and personal legal planning needs. From guidance on reviewing and keeping shareholder and state documentation up to date... - Robert
  • It is difficult enough to cope with the emotional challenges of closing a parent's estate, and when you are also faced with the issue of your parents having insufficient documentation, and being remote from your siblings… - Zara L.
  • Austin Frye provided legal services to my father while alive and to his estate after his death; when showing the EP docs his firm prepared to other professionals (lawyers, financial advisors, accountants)… - Mark S
  • I've been a client of Austin Frye's for over 10 years. In that time, he's handled my estate/trust planning and asset protection as well as complicated business deals. - Leslie
  • Mr. Frye recently set up a complicated special needs trust for my son and, as usual, did a great job explaining it and in putting our minds at ease about our son's future well-being. - Dr. Howard
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