Practice Areas

Probate And Guardianship Law

Miami And Fort Lauderdale Probate Administration and Litigation Attorney

Probate Administration

Probate Administration is an area of legal practice where our law firm can help properly distribute and help protect the assets of a loved one who has deceased, making sure they end up in the correct hands. Whether your loved one left a Last Will and Testament, or not, our firm will make sure that the assets get distributed fairly as dictated by your loved one through their will, or by the Laws of the State of Florida is there is no Will. Our firm will also help you use estate assets to satisfy all the debts of your loved one, which need to be addressed in a probate administration.

PROTECT THE ASSETS! Florida law provides for some of the assets to be protected, and therefore exempt from creditors. Our firm can help determine what assets can be protected from creditors. Some of these assets can be very valuable to the family of the deceased loved one. Without competent representation, these assets may be subject to creditors. Our firm can petition the court to have some of the assets deemed “exempt” and therefore the creditors of an estate will not be able to take hold of the value of these assets. This may even include a family car or home!

The attorneys at the firm will work closely with the personal representative to accomplish the following tasks as part of the probate process:

  • Submitting wills to the court to be verified and approved,
  • Notifying heirs and creditors of the probate administration proceedings,
  • Gathering up assets in order to do a complete estate inventory,
  • Receiving, reviewing and approving or disapproving creditor claims,
  • Resolving any probate litigation,
  • Paying bills and taxes from the estate,
  • If needed, selling assets, under supervision of the court,
  • Preparing and submitting the petition for distribution of the assets of the estate.

The attorneys at the firm understand that the entire probate process can be complex and quite time-consuming. They also know that after a loved one has passed away, you would like nothing more than to be able to quickly wrap up their affairs and move forward with your life. The firm’s dedication and experience is what you need to help you navigate through the probate process.

Probate Litigation

Probate Litigation is when there are disputes involving the estate of a deceased and those disputes need to be settled by the Court system. Whether there are questions as to whether a Last Will and Testament is valid, whether the deceased was in the proper state of mind when they signed a will, or whether an individual in your family is taking assets that may not belong to them, our firm can help take your challenge to Court to argue for the assets to be distributed properly. Do not allow a family member to bully you into thinking that you are not entitled to assets. Get competent representation to fight for your rights to those assets!

The list of problems that can disrupt the probate process into litigation is extremely lengthy. Some of the more common problems include:

  • Questions about the mental competency of the deceased at the time the will or trust was written.
  • Questions about whether the deceased was unduly influenced by a potential beneficiary under the will or trust.
  • Suspicions that the will or trust may be a forgery

Gilbert & Smallman handles probate litigation for clients in Florida for the following matters:

  • Will Contests
  • Probate Fraud
  • Beneficiary Rights
  • Elective Share
  • Abuse of Power of Attorney
  • Trust Litigation
  • Rights of Surviving Spouses in Florida
  • Joint Bank Account Litigation / Pay on Death Disputes
  • Estate Planning Malpractice
  • Reformation of a Florida Will
  • Improper trust or will formation or failure to sign the trust or will with proper witnesses, notary, or other formal requirements
  • Lack of capacity of the maker of the trust or will
  • Undue influence over the maker of the trust or will
  • Distribution of assets in violation of Florida Statutes, including the spousal elective share
  • Judicial interpretation of unclear, confusing, or ambiguous language in the trust document
  • Trust reformation or modification
  • Breach of fiduciary duty by the trustee for:
    • Failure to make proper or timely distributions
    • Failure to make proper or timely accountings
    • Failure to administer the trust in the manner required by the trust document
    • Failure to follow the prudent investor rule or making improper investments
    • Self dealing
    • Excessive trustee compensation

Guardianship Law

Guardianship Law Attorney In Miami And Fort Lauderdale

Guardianship Law

A guardianship becomes necessary when a family member is no longer able to care for themselves and make decisions consistent with their well-being. Our firm can help you navigate the courts to help your family member have a guardian appointed who will be responsible for helping your family member with management of their health and also their finances/property if necessary. When our family members get older, they may be in need of services like this, however, it is important to have competent representation to make sure that your family member is getting the help they need and deserve. A guardian can help with home-care, managing medical medical treatment, transportation, visitation from family members, as well as managing finances, assets and property. If your loved one needs a guardian contact us to make sure the legal process is set up to help them and your family through this difficult time.

Practice Areas

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Law Offices

Broward Office

Law Offices of Gilbert & Smallman PLLC
3475 Sheridan St. #301
Hollywood, FL 33021

(954) 661-7371

(954) 251-3106

(954) 404-6003

Miami Office

Law Offices of Gilbert & Smallman PLLC
The White Building
One Northeast Second Ave,
Suite 200
Miami, FL 33132

(786) 371-4431

(786) 863-8568

Tallahassee Office

Law Offices of Gilbert & Smallman PLLC
909 East Park Avenue
Tallahassee, FL 32301

(850) 391-7045

(850) 391-6152

North Miami Office

Law Offices of Gilbert & Smallman PLLC
12550 Biscayne Blvd, Suite 800
North Miami, FL 33181

(786) 371-4431

(786) 863-8568

(954) 404-6003