What is the Role of a Probate Judge?
Most estates will go through probate after someone dies before the family can close the estate. During this process, the will is validated, and creditors are paid back what they are owed. Each case will be assigned to a probate judge.
In the best-case scenario, the role of the probate judge will be limited. If there is a will, the executor will handle the matters of the estate. The role of the probate judge will usually be to review and sign off on the paperwork. If the probate judge must take on a larger role, it is a sign that something is wrong in the process.
The probate judge will become involved if there is litigation. For example, if an interested party is challenging the validity of the will, there will be a full-fledged trial in court where the probate judge will preside. In addition, a probate judge will also be involved if the beneficiaries are challenging the actions of the executor. If the person died without a will, the probate judge will appoint an executor for the will and oversee the process.
Another key function of a probate court judge is to oversee matters of guardianship. If an adult is no longer able to make their own decisions and has not designated someone to have power of attorney, the probate judge will appoint someone as guardian. This could be a contested proceeding because the person may claim that they still have the ability to make decisions, the family may challenge the guardian.
Contact a Boca Raton Estate Planning Attorney
If you have any case that requires the intensive involvement of a probate judge, you need an attorney. Contact the lawyers at Rubino Findley online or call us at 561.220.8464 to discuss your legal matter.