When one of your dearly loved ones has passed away, estate matters and probate procedures might be the last thing you are thinking about. It is at this time that you need the assistance of an experienced probate attorney. When the complex associated transitional tasks of probate are neglected, an individual’s final wishes may be neglected, leaving strangers to decide how their estate will be handled. An experienced and knowledgeable probate attorney who knows the ins and outs of estates, trusts and the probate process can help expedite the frustrating and complicated endeavor. When you place their estate in the trustworthy hands of our probate attorneys, you will find the comfort and time you need to mourn and share memories of your loved one with family and friends.
The Probate Process
Probate is basically a checklist of legal procedures and requirements that must be followed after someone dies with a certain amount of assets. The probate process involves proving the person’s will (if they have one), taking inventory of their assets, getting the estate’s property appraised, settling or disputing any outstanding debts, paying any taxes that may be sue, and distributing the decedent’s estate according to their Will or, when there is no valid Will, in accordance with intestate succession laws.
Why hire a Probate Attorney?
In every state, heirs are free to navigate and handle probate without the representation of a probate attorney. In most cases, especially those involving significant assets, there are sound reasons for retaining a knowledgeable probate attorney.
The laws that apply to probate are complex and may involve other jurisdictions. State and federal tax laws may apply and it is important to get it right. In addition to tax laws, there are notification requirements, statutes related to debts and creditors, real property laws, code sections governing the selection of executors and personal representatives, and laws governing the validity of wills.
An executor or personal representative can be held personally liable if they mishandle probate duties and procedure. Simply failing to notify an interested person such as a distant relative or creditor, or failing to meet a deadline can cause significant issues and delay the process. Numerous complications can arise during the probate process such as disputes among the heirs, disputes concerning the Will, those that were disinherited, former spouses, and even stepchildren.
You, your family, and friends need time to mourn and remember the deceased without a dark cloud of doubt concerning the legal process looming over your heads. Call on the knowledge and experience of our qualified probate attorneys. We will help you get through this difficult time.