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Helping Families Through Inheritance Disputes

Nobody wants their death to lead to a family quarrel over money. Unfortunately, disputes over inheritance do happen sometimes. Handled incorrectly, a will challenge or other dispute could cause a rift between relatives that never heals.

At the Law Offices of Mitchell A. Sherman, Esq., I have the tools to prevent this from happening to your family. As a Florida probate lawyer with more than 30 years of experience, I can help you avoid litigation and resolve your probate dispute reasonably and in a way that allows your family to move on.

What Is Probate?

Probate is the process where a judge accepts the deceased’s will as valid and oversees the personal representative as they carry out its terms. Almost all estates of people who pass away in Florida must pass through probate court. There are three different forms of probate, depending on the size of the estate, what assets are in it, the number of creditors seeking payment and other factors.

  • Summary Administration. If the deceased passed away with non-exempt assets with less than $75,000 in value, a faster version of probate called summary administration is available. All is needed is for the probate judge to accept a petition to have the assets given out according to the will’s terms, or applicable intestacy laws if the person died without a will.
  • Formal Administration. This is the most common form of probate. The probate judge appoints a personal representative (executor) who must request admission of the will, gather the deceased’s assets, find their creditors, pay off debts and taxes, distribute the remainder to the heirs and perform other tasks.
  • Ancillary Administration. This applies when someone owned assets in Florida, such as a vacation home, but died as a primary resident of another state.

Whatever form of probate is needed for your loved one’s estate, there is always the chance an heir will feel they were promised a larger inheritance, or that they were unfairly left out of the will entirely. Instead of a potentially nasty and expensive trial, I use mediation to help all sides negotiate a settlement. Mediation is a form of alternative dispute resolution that gives the parties more control. By working together, the personal representative and other parties can find a consensus and a reasonable outcome.

Caught In A Probate Dispute? Call The Law Offices of Mitchell A. Sherman, Esq.

To learn more about probate and how I help resolve will and trust disputes, please call me at 727-616-0365 to schedule a free virtual initial consultation. You can also email me to get in touch. I charge a flat fee, not an hourly rate. I represent clients across the Tampa Bay area and Central Florida.