Probate Lawyer

In Florida, probate is often complex and daunting. With so many legal aspects to consider, having a knowledgeable probate lawyer by your side can be crucial.


Whether you’re already seeking a “probate lawyer near me” or just beginning your journey into understanding probate law, this article can offer guidance.


Begin your quest for an easier and more successful probate experience in Florida. Contact trusted probate attorney William C. Roof today to schedule your consultation.

What Is Probate?

Probate is a formal process that takes place after an individual passes away. It involves the verification of his or her will and the distribution of his or her assets.


This legal procedure is necessary to ensure the deceased person’s final wishes are respected and their debts and taxes are settled.


Probate occurs in a probate court, which oversees the process to guarantee its legality and fairness. Probate serves several essential purposes, including:

Will Validation

If the deceased person had a will, the probate process will follow the wishes of his or her will, so long as the will is not challenged or otherwise established as invalid under Florida law.

Asset Distribution

During probate, the assets and properties of the deceased are inventoried, and the terms of the will carry out their distribution. Without a will, the assets are distributed following Florida’s laws of intestacy.

Debt Settlement

The probate process includes identifying and settling any outstanding debts and taxes the deceased person owes. This may involve selling assets to cover these obligations.

What Are the Types of Probate?

Florida probate law encompasses various types, each applicable in different situations:

Summary Administration

Summary administration is a simplified probate process suitable for smaller estates that are uncontested. Summary administration is typically quicker than formal administration and therefore less costly.

Formal Administration

Formal administration involves a structured court process utilized when an estate’s value exceeds a certain threshold or there are complex issues surrounding the administration of the probate process for the estate. Formal administration is typically longer than summary administration and therefore more costly.


What Is the Probate Process?

The probate process involves several crucial steps, including:

Step 1: Filing the Will

The process begins with filing the deceased person’s will with the probate court. If there is no will (intestate), the court will follow Florida’s intestacy laws to determine asset distribution under the probate code.

Step 2: Appointment of an Executor

The court appoints an executor, referred to as a personal representative under Florida law. The personal representative is often designated by the decedent’s will, and is the person who will manage the estate and execute many of the required procedures during the probate process.

Step 3: Inventory of Assets

An inventory of the deceased person’s assets, including real estate / real property, personal property, investments, and more, is created and maintained by the personal representative (executor).

Step 4: Notifying Creditors

Creditors and interested parties are notified of the probate proceedings, allowing them to make claims against the estate.

Step 5: Debt Settlement

The estate’s debts and taxes are settled from the estate’s assets. This may involve selling assets to cover these obligations.

Step 6: Asset Distribution

After settling debts, the surplus assets are allocated to beneficiaries as specified in the will, or under Florida’s intestacy laws if there is no will.

Step 7: Closing the Estate

After all assets have been distributed and debts settled, the probate court closes the estate.

Who Can File Probate?

Probate can be initiated by:


  • The individual named as the personal representative (executor) in the deceased person’s will
  • A surviving spouse, child, or other family member or relative of the deceased
  • Another interested party, such as a creditor

Understanding the legal responsibilities and potential complexities of filing probate is essential, which is why consulting with a probate lawyer is often recommended to obtain the right legal advice.

Do I Need a Lawyer for Probate?

While you’re not legally obligated to hire a probate lawyer, there are several compelling reasons why it’s often highly advisable:

Legal Knowledge

Probate law is intricate and varies from situation to situation in Florida. A probate lawyer possesses the knowledge to successfully navigate the legal requirements and ensure legal matters proceed smoothly.

Executor Guidance

If you’re named as the personal representative (executor) in a will, a probate lawyer can provide invaluable guidance on fulfilling your fiduciary duties, from asset inventory to debt settlement.

Minimizing Delays

A probate lawyer can help expedite the process, preventing delays caused by errors or misunderstandings.

Asset Protection

If the estate includes complex assets or income-generating businesses, a probate lawyer can help protect them during the probate process.

Avoiding Disputes

The presence of a probate lawyer can help prevent or resolve disputes among beneficiaries, creditors, or other interested parties.

Reducing Stress

Dealing with probate can be emotionally taxing, especially after a loved one’s passing. A probate lawyer can ease the burden by simplifying the legal complexities of probate, allowing personal representatives (executors) to focus on their responsibilities and allowing other friends, family members, and loved ones to focus on grieving and healing.

How William C. Roof Helps in Probate Cases

William C. Roof is a dedicated probate lawyer that can effectively aid clients who must navigate the probate process with the goal of distributing the decedent’s assets according to his or her intentions expressed in a valid will.


William C. Roof takes pride in delivering comprehensive legal services. His goal is to offer clarity and support throughout the probate process, helping clients navigate any complexities or challenges that may arise.


By selecting William C. Roof as your trusted ally in estate planning, probate administration, probate litigation, or trust administration, you can be confident that your wishes and your family are respected and protected.

Probate Law FAQs

How Much Does Florida Probate Cost?

Understanding the costs associated with probate is essential for effective estate planning. The expenses related to probate can vary widely, depending on several factors, including:

    • The complexity of the probate estate
    • The value of the assets
    • The presence of disputes or contests
    • The fees charged by the probate lawyer

Typical costs associated with probate may include:

    • Court fees
    • Legal fees
    • Appraisal costs
    • Personal representative (executor) fees
    • Administrative expenses
    • Accounting fees

What Are the Most Common Probate Problems?

Probate has challenges, and several common issues can arise during the process. These problems include:

    • Disputes among beneficiaries
    • Creditor claims
    • Estate challenges
    • Tax issues
    • Complex assets
    • Delays in the process
    • Communication problems

What Is the Difference Between a Will and a Probate?

While both a will and probate are integral parts of the estate planning process in Florida, they are distinct legal concepts:

A will is a legal document outlining how you want your assets to be distributed upon passing. It should also provide the name of a personal representative (executor) to manage your estate and distribute your assets upon your passing. The will must go through the probate process to be executed.


Probate is the legal process through which a decedent’s assets are accumulated within an estate managed by a personal representative (executor). Ideally, probate ensures that the deceased person’s final wishes are upheld, debts are settled, and estate taxes are paid. In cases where there is no will, the probate process still applies, but the distribution of assets follows applicable Florida laws.


In essence, the will is the document that expresses a client’s wishes, while probate is the legal procedure that ideally makes those wishes a reality.

Connect with a Probate Lawyer Today

As you embark on your journey through the probate process, know that you don’t have to navigate this complex terrain alone. Probate lawyer William C. Roof is here to assist you at every step.


He is a dedicated probate lawyer who has the knowledge and experience to ensure that your estate planning and probate needs are met with in-depth knowledge and care. He can help you secure your family’s legacy, protect the assets your family is due, and honor your loved one’s final wishes.


Contact William C. Roof now to schedule your consultation.



The contents of this article are not comprehensive, they provide only a general overview of the subject matter discussed. This article does not establish a client-attorney relationship with the reader, and no legal decisions should be made based on the article’s contents. Because every legal matter arises under unique facts specific to the client, no legal decision should be made without consulting a licensed attorney.

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