Frequently Asked Questions

At The Edwards Law Firm PL, we pride ourselves in offering a variety of fee structures to our clients. Typically, we will bill for our services on an hourly or flat-fee basis but will often structure the payment of our lead attorney's fees in a different way to suit a particular client's needs. Call The Edwards Law Firm, PL today for a consultation and discussion of the fee structure that will apply to your situation.

Click on the questions below to view the answers.
  • Q:What Is Probate?

    A:Probate is the process of administering and distributing someone's estate after they pass away. This should be a simple process, but legal issues and disputes over the decedent's estate can sometimes make the process complicated and difficult. That is why you need a probate lawyer by your side.

  • Q:How Much Does Probate Cost?

    A:It is common for people to want to know how much probate will cost. This is especially true with small estates, because you may be wondering if probate is even worth it. The filing of a probate proceeding involves court fees, filing fees, and other administrative fees, but the biggest expense is usually the attorney fees. When a full estate administration is necessary, the Florida Probate Code provides for "reasonable attorney fees" equal to 3% of the value of the estate. However, small estates can often cost much less. Call our office for a free estimate of how much probate will cost in your case.

  • Q:How Long Does Probate Take?

    A:The length of time needed for probate varies depending on circumstances (such as whether or not disputes and litigation are involved), but the average full estate administration takes from 6 - 12 months. However, small estates can usually be administered in a much shorter time frame.

  • Q:Can Probate Be Avoided?

    A:In many cases, yes, probate can be minimized through proper planning and preparation. A comprehensive and well-drafted estate plan can help make the probate process run much smoother and, in some cases, eliminate the need for probate altogether.

  • Q:What Is Real Estate Law Anyway?

    A:Virtually any legal matter or litigation that has to do with a piece of property – such as homes, commercial structures, or privately-owned business, to name a few – is considered real estate law. Due to the complicated nature of these laws, many attorneys are decidedly unfamiliar with them. If you have any problems regarding your property or estate, you need to find a qualified real estate attorney.

  • Q:If I Find a Problem With My Home After the Purchase, What Can I Do?

    A:Under Florida Law, a residential home seller has the legal obligation to disclose all defects known to the seller that materially affect the value of the property that are not readily observable to the buyer. Many times, a seller fails to make the disclosure required by law. If this happens to you, you will need to take the seller to court with the help of a real estate law attorney.

  • Q:Will Claims or Liens Prevent Me From Selling My Home?

    A:In short, the answer is yes. In Florida, a seller must provide marketable title when selling real property. In order to provide marketable title, all liens and clouds on title must be resolved prior to closing. Often, a seller must retain a Sarasota real estate lawyer to resolve all liens and title defects to proceed to a successful closing.

  • Q:What Is an "Underwater Mortgage"?

    A:An "underwater mortgage" is a mortgage whose balance exceeds the market value of the property. In Sarasota, values have recovered from their 2008-2010 lows, but in many areas, there are still a significant number of underwater properties.

  • Q:What Is a "Waiver of Deficiency"?

    A:A "deficiency" is the amount of a mortgage that exceeds its value. A deficiency is possible in both a short sale and a foreclosure. In a short sale, a deficiency can result because the property is being sold for less than the mortgage balance. In a foreclosure, a deficiency can result if the fair market value of the property is less than the mortgage balance on the date of the foreclosure sale. A homeowner who does NOTHING and allows a foreclosure to be finalized by the lender is subject to later collection efforts by the lender. A homeowner who retains control over their real estate problem and sells their underwater property in a short sale has the ability to negotiate with the lender for a "waiver of the deficiency", often with little or no money paid by the borrower. The Edwards Law Firm, PL is experienced and qualified to negotiate your short sale and obtain a waiver of deficiency from the lender. However, you must call us for help.

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