In the Scheme of Things: Why a Probate Law Attorney Matters
The rugged individualism of Americans is something to be celebrated. We are a country that stands apart for many reasons, but the rugged individualism and the pioneer spirit that is ingrained in our American identity is the stuff of great dreams. One of the beautiful aspects of being an American is that we still have collections of souls who choose to be Americans to this day. Masses immigrating for a better life. People who left their motherland in search of a better life, and to make the United States their new homeland. This is partly due to the rugged individualism identity. We champion the individual, and with this identity is the idea that every person has the right to pursue their dreams to the best of their ability.
Our legal system can be said to reflect these ideologies. Administering the literal will and figurative will of individuals is also a part of our legal system, so much so that within each state of the union we have specific statutes on probate administration. The idea that the wishes of the individual should be carried out as they desire is something in which a probate law attorney can assist. At Bret Jones, P.A. we are here to assist our clients achieve their goals. We want your wishes to be followed as you desire, and our probate law attorney team will ensure that the utmost will be done for you.
How does probate administration begin?
Chapter 733 of the Florida Statutes titled “Probate Code: Administration of Estates” details the administration of estates during probate. Probate occurs when a person has passed away. The deceased person is primarily known and referred to as the decedent in the majority of probate proceedings. Part II of Chapter 733 of the Florida Statutes is titled “Commencing Administration”. Initially, when there is a will involved in probate administration, and the person has not died “intestate” or without a will, then the validity of the will must be established. There are self-proving wills, and on occasion there must be an attesting witness in court who swears upon an oath to the validity of the will. Occasionally, a number of issues may arise during probate administration that can be unforeseen prior to arriving at that juncture. As they say, sometimes things do not go according to plan.
What if a later will is discovered?
On occasion, a later will be discovered by family or friends of the decedent or deceased person. In addition, a minor alteration, addition, or amendment to the original will, a codicil may also be found. What is the procedure to follow if such a thing were to occur? Florida Statute 733.208 specifically deals with the “Discovery of Later Will” as it is titled. If a later will or a new addition or amendment to the original will is discovered, then a person who is considered an interested party has a few options. That interested person may request or petition to probate the later will, which means that the probate process should follow the later will. Furthermore, the interested party may also petition to probate the alteration/addition to the original will, this is considered a codicil. Alternatively, according to Florida Statute 733.208, “Any interested person may petition to revoke the probate of the earlier will.” With the assistance of a probate law attorney the discovery of a later will or codicil can become a smoother process. A probate law attorney can help you determine if the later will or codicil is in fact valid, and help you understand what steps will need to be taken in order to rectify any issues that may have occurred as a result of the mishap.
What if a will has been lost or destroyed?
The road of life is full of bumps, and it’s no different in the legal world. It is possible for a will to be lost or destroyed. Fortunately, with the guidance of a probate law attorney looking into the relevant statutes and case law, a matter like this can hopefully be rectified. Florida Statute 733.207 clarifies what is required by statute if a will has been lost or destroyed. According to the statute, “Any interested person may establish the full and precise terms of a lost or destroyed will and offer the will for probate.” As a result, it appears that all is not lost for those who have misplaced a will, or a will that has been unfortunately destroyed. However, the statue further elaborates, “The specific content of the will must be proved by the testimony of two disinterested witnesses, or if a correct copy is provided, it shall be proved by one disinterested witness.” The remaining question that presents itself is who is considered a disinterested witness. A disinterested witness would be considered someone who has no benefit from the outcome of probate. A probate law attorney can further detail what is needed in probate court to exemplify that a person is in fact a disinterested witness.
At Bret Jones, P.A. our attorneys and staff understand that the law is a complex creature, but we want our clients to be apprised of all that relates to them. Our legal system is something to be admired worldwide, and tied into that legal system are of course – the lawyers. At our office, we aspire to keep the spirit of America alive and well by promising that the legal representation that we provide helps you attain what you desire. If you wishes are to be fulfilled, you want to be with a team who will make sure that they matter. At Bret Jones, P.A. our probate law attorney team will help you every step of the way, ensuring that your desires, as well as your families’ wishes, are something that are observed and respected. There’s something to be celebrated about the rugged individualism of the American Spirit, and you deserve the quality legal representation that aspires to respect your wishes.
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