After a person passes and the Probate Process begins, one of the first things that is done is that a Personal Representative is chosen to oversee and shepherd the deceased person’s Estate.
Amidst ongoing probate matters, a Personal Representative must contend with disputed claims to the property of the Estate. Such claims may come from heirs of the estate or even creditors seeking reimbursement. Similarly, heirs and creditors can file objections to claims made by another – thus creating a dispute that goes before a Probate Court.
In Florida, failure by a Claimant to contest an objection in the required time will lead to the claim being barred with no further recourse, unless an extension of the time is agreed to by the Personal Representative in writing. Thus, if a Personal Representative is also contesting the claim, or at least not looking kindly upon it, then time is of the essence. Such a dispute may necessitate hiring a Probate Attorney who will argue why a claim should be honored in order to resolve the matter. This process can be especially contentious if the deceased person left no Will behind to specify the dispersal of Estate assets.
Once a judgment has been rendered, or before if the issue is settled, the Personal Representative would clear the transfer of Estate assets to the successful Claimant. In turn, the Claimant would file a Satisfaction and Release of Claim form, thus discharging the Estate and Personal Representative from all further liability with respect to the claim at issue.
If a person seeks to make a rightful claim on an Estate but must contest other Claimants, then hiring a skilled attorney ahead of time is a good idea. At the Kendrick Law Group, our Probate Attorney Don Morrell can help you uphold your rights in Probate Court. Contact us today for more information or to schedule a complimentary consultation.
Co-Written By: Fernando Paredes, Attorney