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Will Everyone At Some Point Need a Probate Attorney?

Florida attorney L. Reed Bloodworth is a 2021 U.S. News & World Report Best Lawyer in Trusts & Estates Litigation.

Will Everyone At Some Point Need a Probate Attorney?

Reed and the Bloodworth Law Estate Planning and Estate Litigation team answer the question: will everyone at some point need a probate attorney?

The answer will vary:

#1. If someone dies and they don’t own ANY assets, they don’t need a probate attorney.

#2. And, if someone dies and all of their assets have a beneficiary named, they won’t need a probate attorney.

#3. A primary reason you’ll NEED a probate attorney is to transfer assets that do not have a payable on death beneficiary. For example, on accounts including checking, certificates of deposit, and money market accounts.

Note: Payable on death differs from transfer on death, a designation used for investment accounts and stock certificates.

So, the answer is no, not everyone will need one, but usually, yes, people who die with assets that need to be transferred, will need a probate or estate attorney.

Death of a Spouse

Sometimes, especially with spouses, when a first spouse dies, assets are just transferred over to the surviving spouse.

But when that surviving spouse dies, if they have not taken care of their assets, by entitling, or establishing a trust, then they’ll need a probate attorney.

Do You Have a Will or a Trust?

If people have not created a legally executed and valid Florida will with the direction of an attorney, or, haven’t established a trust, or, handled estate planning, then, yes, you’re going to need a probate attorney.

Estate planning is essential to passing assets over to family members, establishing guardianship for small children, or for ensuring care for individuals with special needs.

So, if you haven’t made any plans, or, if you haven’t written things down, or, if you left the kids to fight over things, and, you don’t want to deal with it for whatever reason, you will be leaving things in disarray for grieving family members to handle.

Probate Litigation Attorney for Disputes

The other time you would need a probate attorney is for probate or estate litigation when there are legal disputes over a will or a trust.
So, in response to the question: will everyone at some point need a probate attorney?

The answer is usually, yes, but, not always.

Have You Begun Planning?

L. Reed Bloodworth is the managing partner of Bloodworth Law in Orlando and Winter Haven and handles estate litigation and estate planning for clients across the state of Florida.

If you haven’t handled your estate planning, or if you have a probate or estate legal problem, talk with Reed about what Bloodworth Law can do to help you, your family, or your business.

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