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When your loved one passes away, it can be overwhelming. Not only are you grieving the loss, but you may be responsible for handling the estate. As such, it’s critical to understand what you can expect from a probate court hearing to help you better prepare. The following blog explores what you should know about these circumstances and how a probate lawyer in Pasco County, FL can help you navigate this often complex process with as much ease as possible.

What Is a Probate Court Hearing, and How Long Does it Take?

When someone passes away, there are a number of considerations when it comes to their estate. Generally, the court will get involved to ensure their assets are handled. Essentially, they will step in to make sure debts are paid off, the will is validated and beneficiaries receive their intended inheritances.

The actual initial hearing itself will take around thirty minutes. However, the probate process can take anywhere from three months to a few years, depending on the value and complexity of the estate and assets.

What Role Does This Play During Probate?

The first probate court hearing is necessary to ensure that the wishes of the deceased are honored. Essentially, the court will oversee the distribution of the assets from the estate’s executor to the beneficiaries. The courts will review all significant moments in the probate process to ensure they follow the wishes of the deceased and Florida law.

To begin, the courts will choose the executor or representative of the estate. This is almost always the executor named in the will. If there is no will, they will the courts will appoint someone to this role.

A probate court hearing allows creditors with claims against the estate to present their rights to the court. The executor may deny the claim, but it is up to the court to determine whether or not this is a valid denial.

How Can an Attorney Help Me During This Process?

Unfortunately, if you are unfamiliar with the probate process, it can be complex and frustrating. As such, it’s in your best interest to enlist the assistance of an experienced attorney to guide you through this process.

When you have someone well-versed in the law, they can help ensure that any documents you must complete are filled out and filed correctly to prevent any errors from delaying or impacting the process. Additionally, they can help administer the estate.

If you’re grieving the loss of a loved one, the team at the Law Offices of Matthew J. Jowanna understands how devastating this time can be. As such, we are committed to helping you through the probate process so you can focus on remembering and celebrating the life of your loved one. Contact us today to learn how we can assist you during your free consultation.