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Probate Attorney in Miami

The law office of David Howard Goldberg, P.L. is a full-service probate firm whose attorneys are also often referred to as Trust & Estates Counsel. Located in Miami, Florida with over 37 years of experience, the law offices of David Howard Goldberg, P.L.  can provide guidance with Estate Planning, Probate, and Trust administration issues; In addition, the law offices of David Howard Goldberg, P.L.  provide representation before the Courts of the State of Florida regarding the administration of a person’s probate estate; Incapacity Proceedings and subsequent Guardianship Administration; and disputes relating to the creation, administration, or distribution of property and assets held in a probate 

Estate, Trust or Guardianship
If you need assistance with probate matters, the law offices of David Howard Goldberg, P.L. have been providing guidance to clients regarding Estate and Trusts for over 37 years. Our offices have been actively involved in the planning of Last Will and Testaments, Trusts, Advanced Directives, and the related tax consequences. In addition, our offices have been actively representing clients in the Courts regarding the administration of a person’s probate estate; Incapacity Proceedings and subsequent Guardianship Administration. We have, for over 37 years, represented clients in regard to disputes relating to the creation, administration, or distribution of assets held in a probate Estate, Trust, or Guardianship at both the Trial and Appellate levels.

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What does a probate attorney do?

A Miami probate lawyer such as the probate attorneys at the law offices of David Howard Goldberg, P.L. practice areas which include many different aspects of Estate Planning and probate administration in the state of Florida. If necessary, a Miami probate lawyer such as the probate attorneys at the law offices of David Howard Goldberg, P.L. are able to pursue the necessary litigation in Florida courts. The probate attorneys at the law offices of David Howard Goldberg, P.L. have over 37 years of experience with Florida law regarding estate planning, probate administration, incapacity planning, Last Will and Testament, Trusts, Taxation, and the related transactional issues.

Probate Attorney Services

If you have suffered the recent loss of a family member, a probate lawyer can help you through the process of probate administration of the Decedent’s probate Estate in Florida.

If you believe that a Last Will and Testament, a Trust, or any gifts or transfers of property by a vulnerable person were the result of improper or Undue Influence by another person who received such property, then you should seek advice from a probate attorney who has experience in the field of probate litigation. If you believe that a Last Will and Testament, a Trust, or any gifts or transfers of property by a vulnerable person were the result of that person’s inability to understand what they were signing, a/k/a Lack of Testamentary Capacity, then you should seek advice from a probate attorney who has experience in the field of probate litigation. If you believe that a Last Will and Testament, a Trust, or any gifts or transfers of property by a vulnerable person were improperly documented or that the procedures to execute a Last Will and Testament or a Trust were not adhered to, then you should seek advice from a probate attorney who has experience in the field of probate litigation.

A Florida probate attorney can draft a valid Last Will and Testament so that your wishes regarding the distribution of your property after your death can be memorialized in an enforceable manner. Without a Last Will and Testament, property and assets in a person’s name individually will be distributed according to the Intestate succession law in Florida, which can have results that could have been avoided with proper planning. Intestate succession laws predetermine the share of each relative even if you would never have intended for that relative to inherit your property and assets and may not provide for relatives to whom you do wish to give an inheritance.

A Trust can be established through a Last Will and Testament, which may provide directions to be observed regarding the continuing management and/or distribution of property and assets.

A Living Trust (a/k/a Inter Vivos Revocable Trusts) is a flexible estate planning tool that places property and assets, under the ownership of a Trust. The most common planning technique with a Living Trust is to place assets in the Trust to be managed for the benefit of the Settlor (the person who creates the trust) during their lifetime and then have such assets held in the Trust to be held or distributed from the Trust as designated by the Settlor. Many benefits during the lifetime of the Settlor and upon their passing can be derived from proper planning with a Living Trust. Our attorneys at the law offices of David Howard Goldberg, P.L. are experienced in the drafting and the actual administration issues relating to Living Trusts as well as the laws governing the creation, administration, taxation, and distribution of Living Trusts in the State of Florida.

A Miami probate attorney such as the attorneys at the law offices of David Howard Goldberg, P.L. can help you designate a Health Care Surrogate to act on your behalf when making decisions about medical treatment during circumstances preventing you from communicating your wishes. Typically, a Health Care Surrogate is a trusted family member or friend who is familiar with the subject’s wishes regarding medical treatments, quality of life, and other such areas of relevance, and will be able to accurately convey the ill person’s wishes on his or her behalf once he or she is no longer able to do so.

A Living Will directs your family and your medical providers, in the event of your physical or mental incapacitation, regarding your wishes pertaining to which medical treatments you are willing to receive, refuse, or withdraw during an end-of-life circumstance. A Miami probate attorney such as at the law offices of David Howard Goldberg, P.L. assists clients with these difficult decisions when drafting a Living Will, so that your family will not be burdened with these decisions at such a difficult time. Proper planning with Living Will prevents life-prolonging measures which you would not wish to receive such as, for example, being placed on a mechanical ventilator.

Powers of Attorney are tools used in Estate Planning which can be used to grant specific or broad authority to another person, called the agent, to act on behalf of another person. Powers of Attorney are both subject to a complex set of governing law, and can and often are subject to an abuse of the powers granted therein. They can be used, for example, when a person is either unable to be physically present to act for themselves or with proper planning when a person is ill or incapacitated as part of a plan to create less restrictive alternatives to a Guardian. The probate attorneys at the law offices of David Howard Goldberg, P.L. have experience with drafting Powers of Attorney and litigating issues related to preventing or punishing abuses of the powers granted in such Powers of Attorney. When drafting, the years of experience gained in the litigation of such issues permits the attorneys at the law offices of David Howard Goldberg, P.L. to be cognizant of potential issues which could and often do arise, and seek to, as best as possible, under the facts, draft to prevent such issues from arising.

Due to advanced age, physical or mental infirmity, or mental illness, a person may no longer be able to care for their own personal daily needs nor properly manage their property. Under that circumstance, it may become necessary to seek a Guardianship in order to protect that person. The Court will appoint a Guardian after a hearing wherein it is determined that a person meets the legal definition of Incapacitated to oversee, subject to Court oversight, the person and/or property of the Incapacitated person the Ward. A Guardianship requires Court hearings relating to the creation of the Guardianship and Court filings regularly related to the administration of the Guardianship. More often than not, these are uncontested matters. However, frequently, there is contested litigation regarding the determination of the person’s incapacity, issues regarding disputes over who is the person most qualified to be Guardian, the administration of the Guardianship, and the disposition of assets from the Guardianship including disputes relating to the compensation of the Guardian and/or their attorney. To this end, the probate lawyers at the law offices of David Howard Goldberg, P.L. have experience in all areas regarding Incapacity proceedings, Guardianship administration, and Guardianship litigation.

A person who has not attained the legal age of majority (18) and has received property in their name either by gift, inheritance, or settlement in a designated amount is required to have a Guardianship. Orphaned minors are frequently also in need of a Guardianship.

If you are aware of an elderly person whom you suspect is a victim of physical or financial abuse by a family member, caregiver, or other person, the probate lawyers at the law offices of David Howard Goldberg, P.L. have experience in bringing such actions before the Court and have litigated such cases through appeal. Our trial experience in this area permits us when providing Estate Planning services, to draft the plan to avoid situations that can lend themselves to abuse, and we provide mechanisms to provide protection when it is discovered.

What is the probate process?

The probate process is used to identify and gather a deceased person’s assets, settle his or her debts, and distribute assets to beneficiaries. Under Florida law, there are two types of probate administration: formal administration and summary administration. Assets that will be subject to probate include tangible property such as bank accounts, investment accounts, and real estate titled in the name of the Decedent. Without proper planning, life insurance policies and individual retirement accounts may inadvertently be part of the probate Estate. A decedent’s assets are used first to pay for probate proceeding costs, followed by funeral expenses and outstanding debts, and finally, the remainder is distributed to Beneficiaries.

Formal Administration

Formal administration of a probate Estate is required in Florida if the decedent has been dead for less than two years and the probate estate is worth at least $75,000. The formal probate administration or probate process requires a qualified person to be appointed Personal Representative of the estate. Creditors must be notified of the decedent’s death and be given an opportunity to submit claims against the estate. Following this phase, the Personal Representative has the responsibility to distribute the remaining assets of the estate to Beneficiaries. The formal probate process in Florida may take many months or even years to complete.

Summary Administration

Summary probate administration is an option for low-value estates in Florida. Summary administration can be used when the decedent had no will, or in cases with a will that does not direct administration. This can also be used when a decedent has been dead for more than two years or the estate’s entire worth is less than $75,000. In Summary Administration, a Personal Representative is not required. Instead, the probate court is asked to order the distribution of assets to those entitled under Florida law or named in the will. If the court accepts the petition, then it will issue an Order of Summary Administration, which allows the decedent’s assets to be distributed to beneficiaries immediately. Summary Administration can usually be completed in a timelier manner.

Frequently Asked Questions

Probate matters and the related tax issues can be complicated, and the law can be confusing. The law may require that you must be represented by Counsel to serve as a Personal Representative or Guardian.  The probate lawyers at the law offices of David Howard Goldberg, P.L.  have experience in all areas of Estate Planning; Probate, Trust, and Guardianship Administration; and Probate, Trust, Incapacity, and Guardianship litigation. Located in Miami-Dade County, our probate lawyers are aware of the issues involved in this area of representation.  We can handle any litigation regarding a probate, trust, Incapacity, or Guardianship issue throughout Florida.  As experienced Estate Planning, Probate, Trust and Guardianship Trial and Appellate Counsel located in Miami-Dade County, Florida we have experience with both in preparing pleadings to be filed with the Court and thereafter arguing the intricacies of Florida law to the Court at both the Trial and Appellate level. We are here to assist the layperson through Florida’s probate system during the difficult times. Florida law regarding Estates, Guardianship, and Trusts can be difficult to navigate without the assistance of a probate attorney. The system is complex, and the court workers and staff members are not equipped to provide legal assistance. Probate judges in some Florida Counties can also require documents to meet designated specifications and contain particular wording set out in the guidelines. Such filings have legal ramifications and a probate attorney in the State of Florida such as at the law offices of David Howard Goldberg, P.L. have the experience to ensure that legal rights are not lost or violated in any manner inadvertently.

The law offices of David Howard Goldberg, P.L. charge a flat fee or hourly rate  for an estate planning package which includes documents such as a Last Will and Testament, a living Trust, a Living Will, and Health Care Surrogate Designation. Your cost will depend on your needs and which additional documents a particular plan will require.  The law offices of David Howard Goldberg, P.L. charge an hourly rate   for services related to Probate, Trust, Guardianship, and Incapacity related administration and litigation at both the Trial Court level and the Appellate Court Levels.

If you need a Miami probate and estate planning attorney, the lawyers at the law offices of David Howard Goldberg, P.L. are experienced and qualified in the areas of probate, trust and guardianship administration and litigation. Our Estate Planning Attorneys do Planning, Administration, and trial work in the Courts of Miami Dade County and throughout the State of Florida. They know the ins and outs of the law and work hard for our clients. Allow us to put our legal experience in Florida law to work for you to address your estate planning, probate law, will, trust, guardianship, or eldercare needs.

Our Client Reviews

“"I wish I knew about David H. Goldberg, when I first realized I needed a Probate lawyer. Before David I had worked with 3 other lawyers and was well into the process. None of them gave me the feeling that they were representing me. David later discovered, one of the others had a major conflict of interest, and so what was good for me was secondary. That proved my misgivings were real. With David, from the beginning I felt he was in my corner. Furthermore, he was able to get me out of a mess that I had been told I had to accept. So, choose carefully, a bad choice can be very costly! I fully and without reservation recommend David Goldberg." J. G.”

“"David Howard Goldberg, P.L. and team stood by us through a very difficult time. They were there to answer questions, provide guidance, strategies and negotiate with a clear and experienced understanding of the law. David and his team’s attention made you feel like you were their only client, not just a number or payday." R. M.”

“"When unwarranted litigation knocks on your door. David Howard Goldberg and his team are second to none in fighting for you no matter how complicated the case may be. It was truly a pleasure working with Mr. Goldberg during the most difficult time my life." N. E. ”

“"I speak from personal experience when i say the team at David Howard Goldberg PL are absolutely amazing. They went above and beyond in helping me with my case. They treated me as a friend, not just a client. I am very thankful and appreciative to have had them on my side. They are all absolute professionals and masters of law. If I could ever repay them for everything they did I would in a heartbeat. I confidently recommend them to any friend or family knowing that they will be taken care of." J. P.”

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