WARNING: EXTREMELY TIME SENSITIVE
If you received a Florida Citation or Notice of Probate and you plan to object to the will, you should pretty much be in court that same day you receive the paperwork – it can be that time sensitive.
If you are an interested party to a Miami decedent’s estate, you will probably receive a notice or citation from the Miami-Date Probate Clerk’s office at various stages in the probate. Common types of probate court notices you may expect to receive include the following:
• Notice of administration before will is admitted to probate
• Notice of Administration after will is admitted to probate
• Subpoena to appear at court
• Request for documents
• Motions and hearings regarding litigation and routine estate matters
• Trust matters
• Guardianship matters
• Creditor’s claim matters
Responding to Notices or Citations
Since court notices are official legal documents containing important information, it is advisable not to throw away anything you receive. Instead, be sure to open it immediately paying attention to any time sensitive dates of hearings or requests asking you to appear or to produce documents and the nature of the document. You can get a pretty good idea about the subject matter of the notice from the document title. The next thing you should look for are any hearing or motion dates and whether you are required to attend or respond in writing to any requests. Many notices just inform you of proceedings and may not require anything else from you. However, if you are a party to a litigation claim against the estate, or you are being asked to deliver documents or respond to litigation documents such as interrogatories or attend a deposition where you are asked questions, then you would be required to respond.
You should pay close attention to response deadlines. If you miss the deadline to respond, you may be giving away your rights to make a claim later or jeopardizing your inheritance. For example, if you receive a notice of administration prior to the decedent’s will being admitted to probate, you have 20 days from receipt to contest the will. If you receive the notice of administration after the will has been admitted to probate you have 90 days to contest the will. All responses must be in writing and follow court procedures and rules. Will contest deadlines are extremely important if you believe that the will is invalid and you have been intentionally omitted as a beneficiary. If you don’t make a claim within the prescribed statutory period, you are barred from making a claim later. You could also be found in contempt of court if you are issued a subpoena to appear, and you fail to appear.
Contact an Attorney Right Away
If you are in doubt about what the notice means, you have the option of calling the Miami-Dade Probate Clerk’s office or going down there in person. However, the Clerk’s office is not allowed to give legal advice so you may wish to hire a Miami probate and estate attorney instead to represent you to make sure you do not miss any deadlines or lose your rights to any claims of inheritance or other claims against the estate. The Miami probate and estate attorney will be able to explain the meaning of the notice, how it affects you and what may be required of you to comply with the notice requirements. The attorney can also represent you in connection with any litigation matters such as a will contest or other claims you may wish to file against the estate or the personal representative of the estate.
Miami Probate and Estate Attorney Help
If you wish to speak to a Miami estate attorney regarding a probate court notice or citation or other estate matter, call the Law Offices of Albert Gurevich at (786) 522-1411.