Attorneys can be extremely helpful when navigating probate law. The process of handling the estate of a loved one who has passed away can be complicated and grueling. Probate attorneys can help.
Here’s what you need to know about what probate attorneys do and why would you need a probate attorney.
What is Probate?
Probate is the legal process for settling estates and validating a will after someone dies. After the death of a loved one, there are several legal aspects of the estate that need to be managed. The probate court process can be long and arduous. The following tasks are handled through these proceedings.
- The will is identified and validated
- The executor is appointed
- The estate’s assets are cataloged and valued
- Creditors of the deceased are notified and paid
- Beneficiaries and heirs are notified
- Assets are distributed
What is a Probate Attorney?
A probate attorney is a lawyer that handles the probate court process. Sometimes, the use of a probate attorney is not necessary, but probate attorneys can make the process easier and faster.
When Do I Need a Probate Attorney?
If there are any complicating factors with the estate, consult an attorney right away. You’ll want a personal representative to ensure you avoid costly mistakes and delays.
For estates that are worth a large amount of money, you’ll want an attorney to help you navigate probate law. The larger the value of the estate, the more legal challenges you’re likely to face during probate.
9 Reasons Why You Need to Hire a Probate Attorney
Executors are responsible for the estate administration, which includes handling probate. However, they are legally liable for mistakes made regarding the estate. If you feel unsure about your responsibilities as an executor or navigating probate court, consider consulting an attorney.
1. Keep the Family from Conflict
The process of distributing assets often causes conflicts to arise between family members. An attorney can help keep the process both fair and civil, preventing any unnecessary miscommunications or confusion.
2. Access the Estate Faster
Probate is a long process. Without an attorney, it will probably take longer. During this time, you won’t be able to access any of the assets or funds of the estate. Hiring a probate lawyer means accessing the estate faster.
3. Prevent Rejection
There are several documents that need to be filed before probate can begin. Doing them yourself can mean you file incorrectly, in which case the court will reject probate. An experienced attorney will prevent any mistakes with filing initial documents to open the estate’s probate.
4. Answer Questions
Probate attorneys are experts at navigating the process, so they’ll be able to address any questions that arise.
5. Deal with Debts Properly
One of the most important parts of probate is paying off any outstanding debts of the deceased person. A lawyer can help you navigate claims against the estate and ensure proper payment. Additional payments, such as estate taxes, will also need to be made.
6. Avoid Overpaying
There are several legal documents that go into notifying creditors that your loved one has passed away. Any mistakes can lead to you underpaying or overpaying a creditor.
7. Stay Away from Lawsuits
Executors are responsible for probate, and they are legally liable if things are done wrong. Trying to navigate the probate process alone can leave you open to potential lawsuits for mishandling the process.
8. Avoid Third-Party Delays
It can sometimes be tricky to get access to information after the account holder is deceased. Probate attorneys know the best and most efficient way to get access to the accounts and documentation that you’ll need.
9. They Have Valuable Resources
The are many other resources and industry knowledge that you gain from hiring a probate attorney. They are familiar with the process and will help you to successfully navigate probate law.
Get a Free Consultation Today
Unsure if you need a probate attorney? You can schedule a free consultation with us by calling 800-874-3528.