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Panama City Probate Lawyer

Inheritance Rights

If you have questions about an inheritance issue, you should consider seeking qualified legal assistance. As a Panama City probate attorney, I can provide the help needed in most inheritance matters. I understand the difficulty and emotional factors that may be involved in inheritance issues, and I make every effort to ensure that my clients' problems are resolved efficiently and fairly according to Florida law.

How are inheritance rights determined in Florida?

In Florida, the probate process is the most common way estate inheritance issues are resolved. A person may set up the distribution plan for his or her estate in any manner they see fit (with several exceptions). This assumes the plan is reflected in a form that is valid and legally binding. In order to be valid, estate planning (testamentary) documents must meet certain legal formalities. A Last Will and Testament is the most common estate planning document.

After a Will has been admitted for probate by the court, a Personal Representative will be appointed. The Personal Representative's role is to collect all the assets and property of the estate, pay any enforceable debts of the estate, expenses, and taxes the estate may owe, and then distribute the inheritances as provided in the Will.

If the deceased person died without a Will (referred to as dying "intestate") the inheritance rights are governed by the Florida Statues. These laws determine who is entitled to receive a part of the estate. For example: If the deceased person left behind a spouse, the spouse will generally be entitled to receive at least a portion of the estate (assuming no prenuptial agreement). When a legitimate dispute arises among heirs or beneficiaries, it generally must be resolved before the estate assets can be distributed. To find out more about inheritance rights for a particular situation, it is important to consult with a qualified attorney about the specifics of your case.

Do you need legal assistance with inheritance rights? Contact Panama City Probate Attorney, Max W. McCord III, for competent legal help.