St. Petersburg Probate Attorney
James W. Martin is an experienced probate attorney and trust lawyer in St. Petersburg, Pinellas County, Florida, and is also Board Certified in Real Estate Law by The Florida Bar. He has the highest lawyer ratings on Justia, Super Lawyers, Martindale, Lawyers, and Avvo. Legal advice and representation involving Pinellas County probate and trust estates are his primary focus.
“My goal in every Pinellas County, Florida, probate proceeding and trust estate is to help my clients get what they are entitled to receive, as quickly as legally possible, and with as little risk as possible.”St. Petersburg, Pinellas County, Florida Probate and Trust Attorney James W. Martin
Most cases begin with a free phone consultation where Jim Martin learns the facts of the probate case. He takes all calls himself at 727-821-0904, so potential clients speak directly to this licensed Florida probate lawyer.
In addition to his decades-long law practice experience, Jim Martin serves as an Adjunct Professor of Law at Stetson University College of Law, has authored over a dozen law books, has written over thirty legal articles, and has been a speaker at more than fifteen legal seminars.
Pinellas County Probate Estates
Pinellas County probate estates at first appears to be a confusing and difficult process for all parties involved. Jim’s experience over forty years with wills, trusts, and estates of St. Petersburg, Pinellas County residents has provided him a strong foundation from which to advise his probate estate clients.
He provides advice and representation in Pinellas County Florida probate and trust administration. Every probate case involves filing a petition with the probate court to commence administration. Jim has extensive experience in commencing and administering Florida probate cases, from the simplest cases to the most complex estate cases.
Jim served six years on the Probate Rules Committee of The Florida Bar, and twice as chair of the Probate Section of the St. Petersburg Bar Association.
Jim is the author of nationally published articles on probate, such as Ten Tips for Handling Complex Probate, published in The Practical Lawyer, by the American Law Institute — American Bar Association.
Jim answers many frequently asked questions about probate on his Florida Probate and Estate FAQ page.
Pinellas County Probate Advice
Pinellas County, Florida probate proceedings often involve advice regarding the rights and duties of beneficiaries, personal representatives, creditors, and family. Jim has decades of experience in probate and estates of Pinellas County residents, which he puts to use in every probate case he handles.
Selling Real Estate in Pinellas County Probate
Selling real estate in probate in Pinellas County, Florida, is complicated by the fact that title to real estate in Florida generally passes immediately on the date of death, even before a probate case is opened, but it is still subject to probate administration. St. Petersburg probate attorney Jim Martin provides legal advice and services to probate beneficiaries and personal representatives on selling real estate in probate of Florida decedents and also to trust beneficiaries and trustees of trusts owning real estate in Florida.
Contracts for Sale of Real Estate in Pinellas County
James W. Martin is also a Board Certified expert in real estate law by The Florida Bar and drafts and reviews all types of contracts, such as real estate sales contracts for sale of real estate in Pinellas County, Florida. In addition to his law practice, Jim Martin also teaches contract drafting as an Adjunct Professor of Law at Stetson University College of Law, and he has written over a dozen books and articles on contract drafting that have been published in national and state bar publications. His article “Fifty Tips for Writing the Contract That Stays Out of Court” received The Florida Bar’s Writing Competition Award and has been published in several journals. In addition, Jim has been a speaker at national, state and local bar association conventions and seminars on the subject of drafting contracts and other legal documents.
Board Certified in Real Estate Law
When a Pinellas County, Florida resident dies, a probate proceeding is often required to deal with the decedent’s real estate in Pinellas County. It’s usually the most valuable asset people own. And if it’s homestead, then it needs to be protected from estate creditors.
Pinellas County probate lawyer Jim Martin is Board Certified in real estate law by The Florida Bar. Board certification in real estate is an achievement held by less than one percent of Florida attorneys. To become board certified, a Florida attorney must not only pass the Florida Bar exam but also pass an additional bar exam on just Florida real estate law.
Jim Martin is also the author of nationally published articles on real estate, such as Tips for Handling the Complex Real Property Transaction, published in the journal The Practical Real Estate Lawyer by the American Law Institute CLE.
And he has written four volumes of legal forms books for attorneys on the subject of Florida real estate sales, leases, and transactions, including the new books “Florida Real Estate Sales Contracts” and “Florida Real Estate Lease Agreements”.
Florida real estate laws can be complicated so Jim provides his clients with comprehensive legal services for many aspects of Florida real estate law.
Frequently asked questions on real estate are answered on Jim’s Florida Real Estate Law FAQ page.
Pinellas County Living Trusts
When Jim started practicing law, only a handful of Pinellas County attorneys drafted revocable living trusts to avoid probate, and Jim drafted hundreds of them. His probate and estate law practice deals with the many legal issues that arise when a Florida resident dies with assets owned by a living trust and assets owned outside the living trust.
Pinellas County Estate and Trust Documents
The primary documents for a St. Petersburg, Pinellas County, Florida resident who has died are a last will and testament and, possibly, a revocable living trust. In addition, various documents must be signed to fund the living trust with assets prior to the resident’s death. Assets outside the trust might need to be probated. In addition, probate is generally required to clear claims of creditors by reducing the usual 2-year claims period to just 3 months.
Pinellas County Probate and Trust Assets
Probate and trust estates in Pinellas County own three kinds of assets — real property, tangible personal property, and intangible personal property. Here are some examples:
- Real estate: Homes, land, buildings, stores, offices, warehouses and industrial plants are real estate, which is also called real property.
- Tangible personal property: The contents of buildings are called tangible personal property, unless they are affixed to the buildings in which case they are called fixtures.
- Intangible personal property: Bank accounts, retirement accounts, IRAs, LLC memberships, corporation stock, partnerships interests, and investment accounts are called intangible personal property.
St. Petersburg probate attorney James W. Martin has a broad background in dealing with all types of assets in probate and trust estates and has written numerous legal books and articles on probate, estates, trusts, real estate, corporate, LLC, nonprofit, and business.
Law Professor and Author
St Pete probate attorney Jim Martin’s experience includes teaching law students as an adjunct professor of law at Stetson University College of Law for over ten years, authoring 5,000 pages of legal forms for his books published by West Publishing, writing articles for law journals, and achieving the highest attorney ratings on Super Lawyers, Martindale, and Avvo. He is a member of the Real Property, Probate, and Trust Law Section of The Florida Bar and is Board Certified in Real Estate Law by The Florida Bar.
During the pandemic Jim wrote five books for attorneys that are available on Amazon and Barnes and Noble. For real estate attorneys, he wrote Florida Real Estate Sales Contracts: A Collection of Forms for Lawyers and Florida Real Estate Lease Agreements: A Collection of Forms for Lawyers. For corporate and business attorneys, he wrote How To Form a Florida LLC or Limited Liability Company: A Guide for Lawyers and How To Form a Florida Business Corporation: A Guide for Lawyers. And for nonprofit attorneys, he wrote How To Form a Florida Nonprofit Corporation: A Guide for Lawyers.
Estate planning for Florida residents needs to be based on Florida law because all fifty states have different estate planning laws. Probate in Florida differs from probate in New York. Trusts in Florida differ from trusts in Ohio.
The Pinellas County probate court averages almost a thousand new probate cases a month. Pinellas County probate lawyers work in one of the busiest probate courts in Florida. And Pinellas County has only two probate judges: one in St. Petersburg and one in Clearwater. For these reasons, the best probate attorneys in Pinellas County need…
Here are some frequently asked questions and answers regarding Florida probate and trust estates by St. Petersburg wills, trusts, and probate attorney James W. Martin, who is also Board Certified in Real Estate Law by The Florida Bar. This is provided for general information and not specific legal advice. Contact If you have the need…
Meet Jim MartinJim Martin practices probate, trust and real estate law in St. Petersburg Pinellas County Florida. He has the highest ratings on Martindale, Avvo, and Super Lawyers, is Florida Bar Board Certified in Real Estate Law, is a Stetson College of Law Adjunct Professor of Law, and has authored dozens of books and articles.
Florida Lawyer Jim Martin Blog
An Inconveniently Convenient Joint Bank Account As Florida lawyers, we tend to think that what’s in writing counts more than what’s said. It does, but what’s in writing doesn’t always control...
Any Devise of Homestead Property That Does Not Grant a Fee Simple Interest to a Surviving Spouse … Fails Nat Stirberg died leaving his surviving spouse Valerie Stirberg and children to litigate over who owns his homestead apartment. The case was decided...
Florida Court Says $2 Million Claim For Elderly Exploitation and Theft Lacks Sufficient Priority In Probate Court Florida probate lawyers know that when a Florida resident dies owing people money those people need to file claims against the decedent’s estate in a...
St. Petersburg, Pinellas County, Florida
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