The probate process following the death of your loved one has concluded. Your probate attorney has received a “final order of discharge” after a formal administration and sent your probate and estate inheritance. However, because you’re still grieving, you may feel unsure of how to proceed with the money.
As an experienced Miami probate lawyer serving clients in the Miami area, Denise Jomarron understands the myriad of emotions clients experience when dealing with probate matters. The Denise Jomarron Legal Group helps grieving families settle the affairs of their loved ones after their passing and assists them with transferring assets by guiding them through the probate process. Whether your probate inheritance is a small sum or a significant amount of money, it’s vital to make wise spending and investment choices.
This blog shares tips from a knowledgeable probate attorney based on years of providing legal counsel for probate and estate matters in and around Miami. We have watched as some clients in Miami-Dade County sought the assistance of our law firm for probate administration, handled the legal proceeding well with our assistance, and managed their probate inheritance wisely. On the other hand, we’ve helped other clients through the estate administration, only to watch them make spending decisions they later regretted.
Keep reading for helpful advice from a Miami, FL, probate attorney, then contact us at (305) 402-4494 to schedule a complimentary 20-minute strategy session.
Probate Administration in FL Miami-Dade County
Before we discuss the best ways to manage your probate inheritance, let’s review probate matters and how experienced Miami probate lawyers handle probate cases on behalf of their clients. In a previous blog about the probate process in Florida, we explained that each step in a probate case ensures the fulfillment of the deceased loved one’s wishes for their assets. We identified assets in a probate matter as encompassing any property that belonged to the decedent, including their home, personal valuables, vehicle(s), businesses, and any investment or bank account with no designated beneficiaries.
We also discussed the role of the personal representative in paying off all valid debts owed by the decedent using available funds from the estate. Under Florida law, the personal representative can contest invalid claims in probate court. If received after three months have passed, the court can dismiss creditors’ claims. Once the personal representative has completed all the steps we outlined in the blog, hopefully with the assistance, legal experience, and personal attention of an experienced probate attorney, they can distribute the decedent’s remaining assets to the decedent’s beneficiaries according to their will.
Bad and Good Ways to Spend a Probate Inheritance
Bad Idea #1: Splurging on Expensive Luxuries
Do This Instead: Think About Your Long-Term Needs
One of the most common mistakes the best probate lawyers see is their clients viewing their probate inheritance as Monopoly money. While it’s understandable in sensitive probate matters that you feel tempted to splurge on big-ticket items like a luxury car, exotic vacation, or expensive home, remember that the person who left you this money worked hard to accumulate it. They would not want you to spend it frivolously. It may represent the largest sum of money you receive at one time, so consider how it can help you achieve long-term goals rather than indulging short-term desires.
Bad Idea #2: Making Major Investments Right Away
Do This Instead: Delay Decision-Making
When people inherit money, commonly friends and family approach them with “amazing investment opportunities.” Maybe they seek funding for their business or want you to consider becoming a real estate investor by buying a house or an apartment building. However, we caution you to make spending and investment decisions with careful consideration.
Depending on your financial circumstances, your probate inheritance might better serve you by:
- Paying off a portion or all of your debt
- Bolstering your emergency funds for unexpected events
- Investing in your family’s future or your retirement
- Reserving a small amount to spend on a pleasurable item or activity
Due to the urgency of these decisions, financial experts recommend a period of up to months or several years in which you do not decide to do anything with your probate inheritance.
During this decision-making delay, we recommend:
- Placing the probate inheritance in a federally insured bank account
- Researching and hiring a reputable wealth management professional if it’s a significant amount of money
- Finding experienced representation in the financial investment profession to create a long-term, strategic plan for spending the money
Bad Idea #3: Managing a Significant Inheritance Yourself
Do This Instead: Consult a Financial Advisor, Accountant, and/or Tax Lawyer
Particularly if you have inherited a significant sum, most probate attorneys recommend hiring experts to help you manage it, much as you would hire a professional to replace your roof after a Miami hurricane. Protecting your money from inflation is especially urgent, as is working with someone who understands tax ramifications.
You may need several professionals, depending on the scope of your probate inheritance and your experience with managing money, including:
- A financial advisor
- An accountant
- A tax attorney
Although most estates in the U.S. are not taxed because they fall under the current taxable threshold of $12 million, other items could have tax implications. One example is if a loved one passes and leaves you with a property that appreciates after they pass away. You may have to pay taxes on the appreciation when you sell it. Relying on trustworthy professionals to guide you through these matters will ensure your loved one’s gift serves you in the best possible ways.
The Denise Jomarron Legal Group Offers FL Compassionate Assistance with the Probate Process
The Denise Jomarron Legal Group helps grieving families settle the affairs of their loved ones after their passing and assists them with transferring assets by guiding them through the probate process in Miami-Dade County.
Our knowledgeable probate attorney has handled all aspects of probate, from representing clients in the Miami-Dade County Courthouse through summary administration. Our probate lawyer helps clients by providing sensitive counsel they can trust. Whether serving Miami residents in Miami Beach, Kendall Dr., or Coral Gables, our probate attorney, who is a member of the Florida Bar, handles cases throughout Miami. Our team stands ready to take your phone calls and our FL probate attorney looks forward to working with you. If you seek legal services from an experienced attorney who knows the probate process, contact us at (305) 402-4494 or complete our online form to schedule a complimentary, 20-minute strategy session.
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The information in this blog post (“post”) is provided for general informational purposes only and may not reflect the current law in your jurisdiction. No information in this post should be construed as legal advice from the individual author or the law firm, nor is it intended to be a substitute for legal counsel on any subject matter. No reader of this post should act or refrain from acting based on any information included in or accessible through this post without seeking the appropriate legal or other professional advice on the particular facts and circumstances at issue from a lawyer licensed in the recipient’s state, country, or other appropriate licensing jurisdiction.
Denise Jomarron Legal Group
4300 Biscayne Blvd Ste 305
Miami, FL 33137-3255