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Conservatorship and probate seem overwhelming? Help is available

Dealing with the demise of a spouse or another close family member is naturally difficult. Nevertheless, it cannot be avoided, and every Florida citizen will go through such a traumatic experience at some time. Unfortunately, the stress of dealing with the financial intricacies and matters such as conservatorship cannot be escaped. Matters to address include those related to assets, insurance, investments, and -- in many cases -- family members who are contentious.

Added to all this is the process of probate that can seem overwhelming; however, with the help of an experienced probate attorney, the process can be relatively simple. Probate is the legal process of tying up all the financial and legal aspects after a loved one's death. If there is a will, distribution of the estate will occur accordingly. Otherwise, it will be up to the court to decide how distribution will take place. Being proactive in preparing for the probate process timely can limit the associated strain and stress.

When a person dies without a will, it does not automatically follow that the spouse and children will receive equal shares of the estate. An administrator has to be appointed, who, in cooperation with the court, will determine the distribution of the estate. The probate process is a complex and time-consuming process -- and not only for estates with high assets. Even families with average assets may encounter problems if they are unprepared.

Florida residents can avoid the pitfalls of probate if they are fully informed. Retaining the services of attorneys who focus on probate issues can provide the necessary knowledge and assist clients with proper planning. A lawyer will explain which assets will be included in probate and which will bypass the process. Probate attorneys will know the state's requirements for all matters related to conservatorship, probate, and other associated matters, and will guide grieving families throughout the process.

Source: moneycrashers.com, "What Is Probate -- Definition, Process & How to Avoid It", Kiara Ashanti, Accessed on June 29, 2015

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