I have spent countless hours on any given week hearing about what the evil stepmother, wicked stepsister, deadbeat father and estranged spouse did to be undeserving of an inheritance.
My response has always been the same. “Tough cookies”
- Florida Probate law does not care if your sister never visited mom at the nursing home.
- Florida Probate law does not care if your homeless brother never helped pay taxes on dad’s vacant lot.
- Florida Probate law does not care if your dad married a golddigger who flew to Vegas the day after he died to find a new trust fund husband.
Call her cold, callous … even a bit harsh. Lady justice will not be moved by your story or be persuaded to change or modify Florida probate laws, no matter how much more you think you deserve. (I didn’t write these laws!)
What’s that you say?
“But that’s the way mom would have wanted it!”
Prove it. Show me the Will. No, not the letter she wrote or the post-it note she scribbled on. The properly executed and Florida compliant Last Will and Testament.
“It’s not about the money. It’s about the principle.”
In that case, do you have the money to defend your principles? You’re going to needs lots of it!
In the probate world, there are only 2 ways to die: Testate or Intestate.
If you die testate, then you died with a Will. Intestate = No Will.
Without a Will, intestate laws kick in.
Trust me when I say that there is no Florida probate statute that discusses distributions for the “good” son.
Have I beat the horse dead yet?
Here’s my point: In probate administration, it should be very clear what each and every beneficiary is entilted to inherit, either according to the decedent’s Last Will and Testament or the Florida laws of intestacy. If beneficiaries fight, prepare for litigation or at the very least, extraordinary attorneys’ fees which could have been avoided if everyone would just get on the same page.
It’s not the end of the world. Get through probate amicably and then get on with your lives.
Note to those of you looking for a Florida Probate Lawyer:
If a fight is brewing, many attorneys will either see dollar $igns or will run from the chaos. I do NOT take cases if the heirs are fighting. I don’t care for bickering heirs. Please get on the same page and play nice or find a Florida probate litigation attorney and prepare to spend 5 figures just to get the case moving.
If you need inspiration to play nice, check out the video at the top left of this page!
If you’re ready for a painless and affordable probate experience, make nice with the other heirs and then, contact me!