West Palm Beach Probate & Trust Attorney
Strong, effective counsel when it matters most
Probate and trust administration is an emotional time for the parties involved. When matters are contested or litigation arises, what a party needs is the guiding hand of an experienced West Palm Beach probate & trust attorney who truly cares about the client’s emotional needs and will work to get the matter resolved efficiently and effectively. Jami L. Huber, P.A. works to resolve contested probate and guardianship matters throughout Palm Beach, Broward and Martin Counties.
With over 20 years of experience in probate, trust and guardianship matters, attorney Jami L. Huber is well-respected among colleagues in her field, not only for her knowledge and ability, but also as a fair-minded attorney who deals with clients, attorneys and the courts with integrity. Many of the firm’s clients come through referrals from other estate planning, probate and trust attorneys who don’t necessarily focus on litigation or guardianship matters, or even from opposing counsel in previous litigation who appreciate Jami’s dedication to resolving matters fairly while advocating forcefully on her clients’ behalf.
Expertise in Florida probate and trust administration, litigation and guardianship
Jami L. Huber, P.A. goes beyond basic estate planning and administration matters and focuses particularly on resolving problems or disputes in these areas through negotiation, mediation, or litigation. Estate planning and elder law attorneys, trust companies, brokers and other professionals call on Jami L. Huber, P.A. when problems arise in the context of a probate or trust administration, or in a guardianship matter, which require particular skill and expertise in dispute resolution or litigation. Call Jami L. Huber, P.A. for assistance with any of the following:
- Probate & Trust Administration – representing the personal representative and assisting him or her to accomplish a host of challenging tasks for efficient, proper estate administration
- Probate & Trust Litigation – representing parties in will challenges, trustee objections lifetime transfers and other contested matters
- Voluntary & Contested Guardianship – helping ensure that minors and adults receive the care and assistance they need with personal, health and financial matters
Probate & Trust Administration & Litigation and Guardianship in Palm Beach County
Jami L. Huber is a compassionate, dedicated Florida estate attorney concentrating in the areas of probate and trust administration, probate and trust litigation, and voluntary and contested guardianships in Palm Beach County. Below is a brief overview of the firm’s main areas of practice. Click on a heading for more detailed information, or call 561-283-4770 for immediate assistance.
Probate & Trust Administration
Jami L. Huber, P.A. assists the personal representative of the estate (also known as an executor or administrator) with the myriad of tasks which must be accomplished in order to give effect to the terms of a will or trust and in compliance with Florida law. These duties include identifying and gathering the assets of the decedent, notifying beneficiaries and creditors, paying expenses, and distributing assets in accordance with the decedent’s Last Will and Testament or in accordance with Florida laws of intestate succession in the absence of a valid will. Failure to execute these tasks competently can extend the length and expense of probate, or invite litigation against the personal representative or trustee.
Probate & Trust Litigation
Will contests and trust litigation arise in many ways, including allegations of undue influence, incapacity, the illegal conveyance of real estate, or the abuse of fiduciary power or a durable power of attorney. Jami L. Huber, P.A. represents personal representatives, trustees, heirs and beneficiaries in all manner of probate and trust litigation. Experienced estate planning attorneys who do not regularly involve themselves in litigation understand the importance of utilizing a skilled, knowledgeable and experienced probate and trust litigator to handle these critical matters.
Voluntary & Contested Guardianship
Attorney Jami L. Huber represents parties in proceedings to secure guardianships on behalf of minors or incompetent adults. Courts have authority to order limited or plenary guardianships; it is essential to have experienced, compassionate guidance in determining the appropriate extent of court oversight and deciding who may exercise any rights taken by the court from the ward and granted to the guardian.
A resolution-oriented approach to probate and guardianship matters
Probate and trust administration or litigation, and voluntary or contested guardianship proceedings have significant consequences on the lives of those involved. Ensure that you have the advice and assistance you need from a dedicated, knowledgeable and experienced attorney. Contact Jami L. Huber, P.A. in West Palm Beach and Boca Raton at 561-283-4770.
Jami L. Huber, P.A. is resolution-oriented and approaches every situation with the goal of resolving the matter efficiently and effectively, making sure that clients’ rights and interests are protected, promoted and properly reflected in the final outcome. Sometimes when disputes escalate to the point of requiring formal legal intervention, it seems the problems are only made bigger, not better. Although litigation may be the most appropriate or the only effective method for resolution of a particular dispute, this does not mean that the process need be overly contentious, difficult or expensive.
West Palm Beach Probate, Trust & Guardianship FAQs
If you have recently been appointed as the personal representative of an estate, or if you are an attorney with a probate or guardianship matter who does not regularly deal in these matters, the following may provide you with answers to some of your most basic questions. If you have other questions, or if you need to speak with an experienced Florida probate, trust and guardianship lawyer for advice or representation in a particular matter, please contact the law offices of Jami L. Huber, P.A. in West Palm Beach at 561-283-4770.
How long does probate normally take?
At a very minimum, probate lasts for three months, as this is the required time frame for creditors to be given notice of the proceeding and an opportunity to bring claims against the estate. In actuality, probate often lasts for five or six months for even a relatively simple estate. If there are complicated assets or tax issues, if the selling of real estate is required, or if legal disputes arise, expect the process to take much longer. It is not uncommon for the probate of an estate to take a year or longer.
How much will it cost to probate an estate?
There are several costs and fees typically involved in the probate of an estate, and naturally the expense of probate depends upon the complexity of the estate and whether any contests, objections or litigation become necessary. The Personal Representative, who conducts most of the activity related to the probate, is entitled to a fee. This fee may be established in the will or through contract with the decedent or an agreement with the heirs. The personal representative’s fee may also be determined by the judge or calculated according to law. The fees for the personal representative’s attorney may likewise be arrived at in a similar manner. Other costs include court costs and filing fees, and the use of accountants or other professionals as necessary. Fees for the personal representative and attorney are presumed reasonable, but they may be objected to by heirs or beneficiaries, and litigation may be required to settle the matter.
Are there alternatives to formal administration for very small estates?
Florida law provides for a process of summary administration if the value of the probate estate, less exempt property, is $75,000 or less, so long as all debts of the estate are paid and there are no objections from creditors. Also, if the decedent has been deceased for more than two years and no prior administration has occurred, the summary process may be available.
Florida also allows for the disposition of personal property without administration, if all probate assets are exempt from creditors, or there is no real property and the value of any non-exempt personal property does not exceed the amount of preferred funeral expenses and the amount of all reasonable and necessary medical and hospital expenses incurred in the last 60 days of the decedent’s final illness.
Is it wise to consider hiring a professional guardian?
Professional guardians are a booming business in Florida. Keep in mind that you are delegating authority to make personal healthcare and financial decisions, so any guardian should be someone you can trust. Previously, professional guardians were not monitored closely by the state, the way public guardians are, and many professional guardians were accused of overcharging or depleting the estates of their wards for their own personal gain. Before 2016, the Palm Beach County Clerk and Comptroller ran the state’s only hotline for elder-guardianship fraud. Now, an Office of Public and Professional Guardians has been created within the Department of Elder Affairs to provide oversight of both public and professional guardians. Professional guardians must register annually with the state and must file an initial and annual report, as well as an annual accounting of the ward’s finances. Professional guardians must also undergo a background check and training in order to serve.
It remains to be seen whether sufficient state resources will be provided to closely monitor the hundreds of professional guardians in the state. If you are unsure what to do regarding naming a guardian, or if you have questions about a public, private or professional guardian, contact Jami L. Huber, P.A. for assistance.
Experienced Legal Advice and Representation from a West Palm Beach Probate & Trust Litigation Attorney who Puts Clients First
It’s time to take a difficult problem and make it less complicated, with the goal of an efficient and effective resolution. For straight answers and professional assistance from an experienced West Palm Beach probate & trust attorney solving difficult probate litigation and emotional guardianship matters with integrity and warmth, contact Jami L. Huber, P.A. at our office in West Palm Beach at 561-283-4770. Weekend and evening appointments are available as needed. Call today to discuss how we can help you.