EXPERIENCED, DRIVEN AND EFFECTIVE
The lawyers at the Mason Law Firm are passionate about helping people during their time of need. Whether it concerns estate planning, probate, guardianship, divorce or custody, the attorneys at the Mason Law Firm will take the time to make sure that you understand your rights and all of your legal options.
Our attorneys take a special interest in:
- Probate (Estate Administration)
- Wills & Trusts (Estate Planning)
- Guardianships (Adults and Minors)
- Marital & Family Law (Divorce, Custody, Support)
SERVING JACKSONVILLE’S BEACHES FROM OUR NEW OFFICE IN PONTE VEDRA BEACH
The Shoppes of Ponte Vedra
330 A1A North, Suite 323
Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida 32082
St. Johns County, Florida
We are located in Ponte Vedra Beach, near Jacksonville Beach, Neptune Beach, Atlantic Beach, Jacksonville and St. Augustine.
We serve the Northeast Florida counties, including Duval, St. Johns, Nassau, Clay, Flagler, Bradford, Baker and Alachua Counties.
Serving the State of Florida on Probate Law Matters
Our Jacksonville probate lawyers have extensive experience handling estate administration and probate matters throughout all of Florida. We recognize the emotional impact a death in the family has on family and friends. Our goal is to help people through this difficult time and we will take all the time you need to make sure you fully understand the probate process. The best course of action is not always clear during times of great stress. We will help you make educated decisions on the best method of handling your probate case.
Schedule a consultation with a probate attorney to get the information you need about your probate matter.
Serving Northeast Florida for Divorce, Family Law, Estate Planning & Guardianships
We proudly serve all of Northeast Florida including Duval County, Clay County, Nassau County, St. Johns County, Alachua County, Baker County, Bradford County, Putnam County, Flagler County, and Volusia County for family law cases, such as dissolution, child custody, child support, modifications, paternity, adoptions and Guardianships.
For estate planning purposes, including wills, trusts and advance directives, our lawyers can come to you if that is more convenient.
In some cases, our attorneys will charge a fixed fee, so you don’t have to worry about paying for multiple visits or consultations. Some cases, including probate, can be handled on a contingency fee basis. Contact our office to schedule a consultation or to speak with an attorney.
Please contact our lawyers to get your questions answered today.
How to Avoid Probate
Learn the most popular ways to avoid probate.
Avoiding probate doesn’t have to be difficult. Many people can use these simple and effective ways to ensure that all, or some, of their property passes directly to their heirs, without going through probate court
Revocable Living Trust
Living trusts were invented to let people make an end-run around probate. The advantage of holding your valuable property in trust is that after your death, the trust property is not part of your estate for probate purposes. (It is, however, counted as part of your estate for federal estate tax purposes.) That’s because a trustee — not you as an individual — owns the trust property. After your death, the trustee can easily and quickly transfer the trust property to the family or friends you left it to, without probate. You specify in the trust document, which is similar to a will, who you want to inherit the property.
Pay-on-Death Accounts and Registrations
You can convert your bank accounts and retirement accounts to payable-on-death accounts. You do this by filling out a simple form in which you list a beneficiary. When you die, the money goes directly to your beneficiary without going through probate. You can do the same for security registrations, and, in some states, vehicle registrations.
Joint Ownership of Property
Several forms of joint ownership provide a simple and easy way to avoid probate when the first owner dies. To take title with someone else in a way that will avoid probate, you state, on the paper that shows your ownership (a real estate deed, for example), how you want to hold title. Usually, no additional documents are needed. When one of the owners dies, the property goes to the other joint-owner — no probate involved.
You can avoid probate by owning property as follows:
Joint tenancy with right of survivorship. Property owned in joint tenancy automatically passes, without probate, to the surviving owner(s) when one owner dies.
Tenancy by the entirety. In some states, married couples often take title not in joint tenancy, but in “tenancy by the entirety” instead. It’s very similar to joint tenancy, but can be used only by married couples (or in a few states, by same-sex partners who have registered with the state). Both avoid probate in exactly the same way.
Community property with right of survivorship. If you are married (or in California, if you have registered with the state as domestic partners) and live or own property in Alaska, Arizona, California, Nevada, or Wisconsin, another way to co-own property with your spouse is available to you: community property with the right of survivorship. If you hold title to property in this way, when one spouse dies, the other automatically owns the asset.
Giving away property while you’re alive helps you avoid probate for a very simple reason: If you don’t own it when you die, it doesn’t have to go through probate. That lowers probate costs because, as a general rule, the higher the monetary value of the assets that go through probate, the higher the expense.