Justia 10
Rated for Super Lawyers by Thomson Reuters
Rated by Avvo
James Martin AV Preeminent 2022
Board Certified in Real Estate Law by The Florida Bar

St. Petersburg Probate Attorney

James W. Martin, an experienced probate attorney and trust lawyer in St. Petersburg, Pinellas County, Florida, 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 the focus of his practice.

“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 James W. 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 probate law practice experience, James W. Martin serves as an Adjunct Professor of Law at Stetson University College of Law and has written legal forms books and articles and presented at bar CLE seminars.

Pinellas County Probate Estates

Pinellas County probate estates at first appears to be a confusing and difficult process for all parties involved. James W. Martin’s extensive experience 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. James W. Martin has extensive experience in commencing and administering Florida probate cases, from the simplest cases to the most complex estate cases.

James W. Martin 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.

James W. Martin 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.

James W. Martin answers many frequently asked questions about probate on his Florida Probate and Estate FAQ page.

Pinellas County Probate Attorney Fees and Costs

Everyone involved in Pinellas County probate cases wants to know about the fees and costs in probate. In Florida, the attorney represents the personal representative, and the attorney’s fees are payable from estate assets. Here is the manner in which Pinellas County probate attorney James W. Martin charges attorney’s fees in probate cases: Pinellas County Probate Attorney Fees and Costs

Pinellas County Probate Advice

Pinellas County, Florida probate proceedings often involve advice regarding the rights and duties of beneficiaries, personal representatives, creditors, and family. James W. Martin 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 James W. 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 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, James W. 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, James W. Martin has been a speaker at national, state and local bar association conventions and seminars on the subject of drafting contracts and other legal documents.

Real Estate in Probate and Trust

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.

James W. Martin Martin is 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 James W. Martinprovides his clients with comprehensive legal services for many aspects of Florida real estate law.

Frequently asked questions on real estate are answered on James W. Martin’s Florida Real Estate Law FAQ page.

Pinellas County Living Trusts

When James W. Martin started practicing law, only a handful of Pinellas County attorneys drafted revocable living trusts to avoid probate, and James W. Martin 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 James W. 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.

During the pandemic James W. Martin wrote five books for attorneys that are available on Amazon and Barnes and Noble and that are useful in probate cases. 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.

Practice Areas

Attorney Bio

Meet Probate Attorney James W. Martin

James W. Martin practices probate estate and trust law in St. Petersburg, Pinellas County, Florida. He has the highest ratings on Martindale, Avvo, Justia, and Super Lawyers and is the author of dozens of law books and articles. He also serves as an Adjunct Professor of Law at Stetson University College of Law and on the Board of the Dali Museum.

Florida Lawyer Jim Martin Blog

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When Is a Survivor Not a Survivor? A recent Florida probate case answered the question “When is a survivor not a survivor?” In Chauncy v. Gorden, 374 So.3d 884 (Fla. 5th DCA), the...

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...

St. Petersburg, Pinellas County, Florida

St. Petersburg

Pinellas County, FL 33701

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