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Probate Law

Overview of Probate Law: Unraveling the Estate

In times of loss, the complexities of handling a loved one's affairs can feel overwhelming to families and loved ones. At Tidwell & Associates, we're here to help calm the tides of grief and guide you through the intricate landscape of probate law so you can focus more time on yourself. Whether you've lost a spouse, inherited property, or are managing a family business transition, our experienced team is here to help.

What is Probate Law?

Probate law, in essence, governs the legal process that occurs when someone passes away. It involves sorting through the deceased person’s assets and liabilities, which legally constitute their “estate.” Whether the estate comprises real property, financial investments, bank accounts, or vehicles, it typically requires initiation of probate proceedings in the county where the deceased person resided. Even the presence or absence of a Last Will and Testament does not alter this necessity.

Depending on the specific circumstances, the appointed individual responsible for the estate, often termed the “executor,” “administrator,” or “personal representative,” may need to post a fiduciary bond, publish legal notices, and submit reports to the court during the estate’s administration.

When Probate is Required

Probate becomes necessary when a family faces the daunting task of estate administration. In uncontested probate cases, where unanimous agreement prevails, the process is relatively straightforward. However, emotions can run high during these sensitive times, leading to disagreements and contested probate estates.

We understand that inheritances sometimes come entangled with unexpected emotional complexities. Whether your family is united in purpose or divided by disputes over authority and assets, we are here to assist.

Succession in Probate Law

Succession refers to the legal process through which the assets and properties of a deceased individual are transferred to their heirs or beneficiaries. It encompasses the orderly distribution of assets according to the deceased person’s will or state laws if no will exists. Succession plays a pivotal role in probate law, ensuring that the decedent’s wishes are honored, debts and taxes are settled, and the remaining estate is allocated to its rightful recipients.

At Tidwell & Associates, we excel in guiding clients through the intricacies of succession, providing clarity and support during this critical phase of estate administration.

The Legal Process

Once the probate process commences, a series of steps unfold. The deceased person’s assets and properties must be collected, creditors need to be settled, and the remaining assets are allocated to heirs or beneficiaries, as determined by the presence or absence of a Will.

When a Will exists, it’s deemed a “testate” estate; without one, it’s “intestate.” After all creditors have received their dues, assets have been transferred, and mandatory court reports filed, the “personal representative” returns to court for a second visit to formally “close” the estate, relieving them of fiduciary duties.

lawyers and clients signing contracts - probate law

Why Hire a Pensacola Probate Lawyer?

Benefits of Choosing Tidwell & Associates

The probate process, especially for first-time participants, can be complex and overwhelming. Stepping into the shoes of a departed loved one to manage their affairs may feel like an ongoing burden.

Let us help you!

If you need any help, please feel free to contact us. We will get back to you within 1 business day. Or if you are in a hurry, just call us now.

Call : 850-434-9805

info@tidwellassociateslaw.com Mon – Fri 09:00-17:00

Our goal at Tidwell & Associates is to provide responsive, skilled representation in estate cases. We alleviate the burden from your shoulders, expertly navigate the court’s intricate processes, and demystify the legal jargon you may encounter along the way. Estate administration, with our guidance, becomes a manageable and clear path forward.


“During a difficult time with so much turmoil after my father’s death, Doug came to the rescue and helped our family sort out inherited real estate. It is so complicated trying to navigate and make the right decisions after your loved one’s passing. Doug was always there for us with great answers and went the extra mile to ensure we all felt comfortable with every decision we made. I cannot recommend Doug Tidwell at Tidwell & Associates enough. Without his help, I don’t think we would have been able to get through this chapter of our lives.”

Stacy R.

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