No doubt, it can be hard to deal with the death of your loved one. This is because there are emotions and many memories to process after their burial. In the midst of this, the last thing you want is to handle the stress that comes with the probate process. The distribution of assets can be a difficult thing because it involves a transfer of property, so all legal procedures need to be followed.
Most people plan their estate property to ensure their wishes are done properly. Quite often, these individuals decide to hire a probate attorney who plays a crucial role when it comes to the estate administration process. In most cases, you need a probate attorney who can help you to simplify this process. In this article, you will learn about a probate attorney.
Understanding a probate attorney
A probate attorney refers to a licensed lawyer who is responsible for guiding the executor of a will or even the potential inheritors who are listed in the will so that they can go through the settling process of the estate. There are key services that a probate attorney provides during a legal proceeding. This includes, inventorying estate assets, paying estate debts, and distributing and settling of the estate property.
Besides these, a probate attorney can also assist with the estate planning process. But you should remember that they can charge you extra fees for these services like creating estate planning documents. If you intend to carry out the estate planning process, then a probate attorney can handle several issues. This includes creating a will, settling up guardianship, and writing a trust.
It’s worth mentioning that the fees that a probate attorney can charge tend to vary depending on the probate matter. Sometimes, they can decide to charge an hourly rate or a flat rate. The size of your estate also usually plays a role when it comes to determining the fee to charge.
Remember that probate refers to the process that involves analyzing to determine its validity and the management of a deceased individual’s will or even real estate. Therefore, a probate attorney can administer a will to make sure that there is a proper transfer of assets to the rightful beneficiary. Take note that beneficiary designations are always in the will. Because most probate issues need legal representation, your probate lawyer can work together with executors.
Hiring a probate attorney
Whether or not you must get a probate attorney can largely depend on the size of the estate. In most cases, it sometimes depends on the size of your family that has to share your real estate when you pass away. There are several things you have to consider that may assist you decide whether or not it’s a good idea to get a probate attorney to deal with your estate’s legal issues.
Some of the factors you may consider include your state probate process, the worth of your estate, type of properties you have including retirement accounts and life insurance policy, whether your estate can be distributed without probate, the unity among your beneficiaries, and whether or not you pay estate taxes. These things can help you to figure out if it’s a good idea to seek the assistance of a probate attorney.
Also, you need to consider if there is a will for your estate. If you have a written will before you pass away, then you can get a probate attorney to advise the parties that are involved in the administration, such as the beneficiaries and the executor. In this case, the duty of your probate attorney is to analyze your will and check whether or not it was written under undue influence or duress or was signed. This usually happens with the elderly individuals who have dementia who can be influenced by people who intend to profit from their will as well as life insurance proceeds.
And, if there is any concern, meaning your probate attorney discovers a loophole in the will, then they can contest or challenge the trust, will, or the entire fiduciary role of the executor. In most cases, this may affect the outcome of your estate.
If you die intestate that is without a will of signing a will then the estate can be distributed depending on the intestacy laws of your state. Since there is no will, your stipulations or wishes cannot be fulfilled in cases like this.
You should remember that intestacy laws for intestate estate tend to vary in different states. Most states’ intestacy laws can allow the surviving spouses to receive all your intestate property, especially if you were married when you died.
Some states apply community property. In such situations, you can get a probate attorney to help the administrator of the estate. Therefore, the attorney can assist with the distribution of your property according to the state’s laws. When there is no will, your probate attorney can do all their duties depending on the intestacy laws of the state. Your stipulations, wishes, and the needs of your survivors cannot be considered since there is no will.
In conclusion, when a person dies, and after a specific period, their property needs to be shared. This usually happens according to your wishes as expressed in your will. It can also happen in accordance with the state’s laws. To do this, you need to get the help of a probate attorney.
A probate lawyer can help the executor of your will and the beneficiaries of your will through the probate process. There is a guided probate proceeding, so your probate attorney makes sure that the executor performs their duties without bias according to the state laws. They also make sure that the estate beneficiaries get their fair share of your property. The good thing is that there are many reputable probate attorneys out there who can offer you their services.
You should also note that you can avoid a probate process if you place your estate in a trust before you die. This can make sure that there is a smooth distribution of your assets without going through any legal proceedings