West Palm Beach Probate Lawyer

A Probate Law Firm That Cares About Palm Beach Residents

When it comes time to think about writing your will or creating a trust, you should not just go to any lawyer out there. After all, estate law is more complicated than ever before, and you want to ensure that you’re taken care of as you age and that your family won’t have to worry about their future after you’re gone. Probate law is very specialized and nuanced, and asking someone who does not focus on this area of law to handle your estate plans is just asking for trouble. That’s why Palm Beach residents have been choosing Wintter & Associates, P.A., Attorneys and Counselors at Law for years.

With us, you know you’re getting the best because we have the experience, track record, and credentials to prove it. The head of our firm, Christopher Q. Wintter, is one of only 350 attorneys in the Sunshine State with a certification in Wills, Trusts, and Estates from the Florida Bar, which means he understands probate law in our state like the back of his hand. In addition to this, he was listed in Florida Super Lawyers in both 2011 – 2012, 2014 – 2017 and received the AV Preeminent Rating from LexisNexis Martindale Hubbell due to his strict adherence to legal ethics and superior ability in the courtroom.

That means that West Palm Beach residents are not only getting someone skilled and experienced in handling wills, trusts, and estates in South Florida, but also an excellent trial lawyer. This provides a peace of mind that most other probate firms just can’t match.

How Wintter & Associates Can Help You in Palm Beach County

Wills

Most people don’t understand how complicated even a seemingly simple matter like writing up a Last Will and Testament can be. Creating a will doesn’t just involve divvying up your assets and writing it down on a legally binding piece of paper. You also need to name someone as your personal representative to oversee the will’s implementation. If the person you choose to do this isn’t experienced, their job can become quite difficult and may result in a lawsuit – even if they just overlook a detail or two that seems unimportant. This makes it essential for anyone named as a personal representative to work with an experienced probate lawyer to protect themselves as well as the estate.

What exactly do we do for you?

  • Establish procedures to help reduce the chance that the decedent’s estate will face litigation
  • Make sure that the decedent’s creditors are contacted
  • Appraise and notify you of the likely estate taxes owed while working to minimize them
  • Assess any issues related to family allowances, tax exemptions, and elective share benefits
  • File taxes for the decedent
  • Distribute the decedent’s assets
  • Perform final accounting for the decedent’s personal representative to prevent them from being hit with a lawsuit

Trusts

In order to set up a trust, the grantor must name someone as their trustee. This person oversees the implementation of the trust and makes sure that assets are distributed correctly. Unfortunately, it’s a process that can quickly become quite complicated, and an inexperienced trustee can make serious legal and financial mistakes that can get them into big trouble. When a Palm Beach resident serving as a trustee comes into Wintter & Associates, we do everything possible to guide them through the process and prevent any errors from occurring so that they will be safe from litigation in the future. Our services include:

  • Assessing any discretionary distributions
  • Working to minimize taxes
  • Preparing and filing taxes related to the trust
  • Distributing any assets
  • Obtaining receipts and releases
  • Doing all final accounting for the trustee

Guardianships

It’s never a happy occasion when you need to become a guardian for a loved one because they can’t take care of themselves anymore due to illness or old age, but if it has to be done then you want to make sure you do it right. The state of Florida doesn’t make this an easy process, but we can walk you through if from beginning to end and take care of things like:

  • Your petition for guardianship
  • Attending necessary incapacity hearings
  • Preparing a financial inventory
  • Preparing a property inventory
  • Helping to manage the property of the ward
  • Helping you to find a residence for the ward
  • Assisting you with medical, social, and financial decisions
  • Putting together a monthly budget
  • Preparing and filing taxes
  • Completing initial as well as ongoing annual accounting work

What Can Go Wrong If You Don’t Use Wintter & Associates

You’ve probably heard the phrase “contested will,” but you might not really know what that means or what other legal quandaries you can find yourself in as the person in charge of someone’s estate. As we mentioned above, one of our goals when we help you handle an estate is to keep you from getting into legal trouble if someone sues because they don’t like what’s in the will or disagree with how it’s being implemented.

Just a few of the things you might face include:

  • Having “undue influence” over the deceased
  • Claims that the will wasn’t signed in the presence of two witnesses as required by Florida law
  • Arguments that the creator of the will was mentally incapacitated
  • Misusing or abusing your power of attorney
  • Claims that a fiduciary or attorney abused their close relationship with the deceased
  • Making fraudulent lifetime transfers of property
  • Elder abuse allegations
  • Accusations of turning the deceased against his or her family members
  • Trusts that are contested
  • Issues with elective shares
  • Disagreements over tax distribution
  • Being in breach of your fiduciary duty
  • Actions to have a trustee removed
  • Trust accounting disputes
  • Petitions to entitlement of assets
  • Lawsuits to recover property lost during the improper administration of a trust
  • Challenges to or opposition of your guardianship
  • Lawsuits to recover damages alleging that you’ve harmed the ward

Let Us Help You Cut Through the Complexity of Florida Probate Law

Wintter & Associates, P.A. Trust and Estate Law Firm always has the best interest of Palm Beach residents at heart, and we’ll do all that we can to help make this process as painless as possible for you. Attorney Christopher Q. Wintter, Esq. and his legal team provide thorough, ethical solutions that will serve you and your family now and into the future. It’s never too early to start planning for what’s ahead. Schedule a consultation today by filling out our online form or calling one of our convenient locations:

West Palm Beach: (561) 470-3448

777 South Flagler Drive

Suite 800 – West Tower

West Palm Beach, FL 33401