Estate Law of Florida helps clients understand wills, trusts, probate and more

Attorney Tara David, Esq. in her new office in Lighthouse Point

By Tim Wassberg | New Pelican Writer


Continuing to help people live their best lives while helping them understand the intricacies of wills, probates and trusts is the purview of attorney Tara S. David, Esq., at Estate Law of Florida, P.A.


David says that she recently changed her business name to allow her to expand her reach throughout Florida for probate services. She also noticed recently that many clients were calling her from out of state or also had property in other counties. This expansion allows her to be able to help them also.


Probate basically covers anything that someone owns that has no beneficiary or co-owner. “So any time someone dies with either a property, bank account, insurance policy, or anything that doesn’t have either a co-owner or a beneficiary listed, it will have to go through probate,” said David.


She says that most states don’t require probate for smaller assets, but that “pretty much everything in Florida is required to be probated.” She explains that a lot of people think that because they have a will, that means there’s no probate. “But a will does not avoid probate. A will is basically giving directions on how you want your property to be distributed.”


David says, in her practice, because many times customers own multiple properties, it helps that she also does estate planning “because I usually guide them to do a trust to avoid probate. If these properties are not titled in a special manner, then we do have to probate them in Florida.”


David continues that she is familiar with most counties in the state and their processes. “So if a property is owned in another county or if it is a resident from another county, I can help that probate process move along quickly.”


There are different probate requirements depending on the county. An original death certificate will be needed and in order to open up the probate, many documents will need to be notarized. “So if you’re not familiar with those procedures, then probate will be held up.”


An example that David gives involves a daughter who came to her with a will that she had created online with no witness.The signer of the probate had signed his name on the witness line and David could not open a probate because of that.


“Everything was supposed to be left to the daughter. But because the will wasn’t executed correctly with the witnesses, I had to open up what’s called intestate proceeding – meaning no will – and they had to go through the family tree, which would mean the daughter was splitting the entire estate with five siblings.”


When doing proper estate planning and taking into account what happens in probate, Florida requires two witnesses. So if there’s not two witnesses, it is an obstacle to moving on with the process.


“People have come to me a lot lately who have created a trust but they didn’t fund the trust,” David said. “If you don’t put any assets into the trust, it will have to go through probate. It’s basically an empty vehicle. Property will would have to be deeded through the trust, bank accounts would have to be re-titled into the name of the trust. Anything that’s owned has to be owned by this trust, otherwise it’ll go through probate.”


Having a will doesn’t avoid probate and simply having a trust does not avoid probate. It is about working with someone who understands the system and its intricacies. The key is to have the assets put in the proper titles in order to avoid these complications.


It is this attention to detail and understanding that continues to make Tara David, Esq., now of Estate Law of Florida, P.A., an effective choice for both probate and estate planning.


Estate Law of Florida is located at 2211 E. Sample Road (Suite 101) in Lighthouse Point. Visit or call 954-951-7274 for more information. Estate Law of Florida is a New Pelican advertiser.

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