What is probate?
Probate is the legal process that determines how the assets or estate of a deceased person will be distributed among the designated beneficiaries. The process can turn out to be long and complicated depending on the nature of the will.
Because of the complexity that comes with the probate process, most estate planning lawyer often advice their clients to avoid probate if possible. If at all a probate problem arises, the estate of the client will be supervised by the probate court.
A probate lawyer
When probate issues arises, you will have to contact a probate attorney. A probate lawyer or attorney is an individual who offers legal assistance, advice, including services to the designated executor, or personal representative in taking care of the deceased affairs. The probate attorney and the representative will work together to see that applicable taxes including unsettled debts of the deceased are paid and the leftover estate are shared based on what is written in the decedent’s will.
Probate process and working with a probate attorney
Probate process is not as easy as it seems; thus, when hiring a probate attorney, ensure you go for one with the best skills and experience. Working with an experienced probate lawyer comes with several benefits. An experienced probate attorney would ensure that the necessary documents are completed, deadlines are met, all outstanding debts and taxes are settled, and importantly- any probate errors or misunderstandings are quickly and completely taken care of.
Not all estate need probate. When probate isn’t needed, assets can be distributed quickly and directly to designated beneficiaries. For example, properties in trust is shared based on the terms of the trust.
Holdings such as annuities, life insurance policies, IRAs, including other types of holdings are also transferred directly to the beneficiaries. But, if a property is owned by an individual, a title change will have to be done and this change must go to probate.
An experienced probate attorney will provide you with the best advice and service when faced with certain probate issues or when you have questions related to the probate process. Also, with the assistance of a probate attorney, you will be able to know in advance how to make sure that your wishes are executed correctly and completely as possible.
Duties of a Probate Lawyer
A probate lawyer will provide the designated executor on the payment of the deceased last bills and unpaid debts, and will prepare and file all important docs needed by the probate court.
It is the job of the executor to monitor the estate’s checking account, and if this is something he or she cannot handle alone, a probate attorney can also assist in the process.
It is also the duty of a probate lawyer to ascertain if any estate taxes or inheritance taxes will be due at either the Federal or State level. If so, the lawyer will determine the source of the cash needed to settle those taxes , including any income taxes due from the deceased’s last year life.
A probate lawyer will take care of any quarrel or dispute that develops between the representatives and the beneficiaries of the estate. He or she will also help with the sale of estate properties. It is the job of the estate lawyer to ask for the court’s go-ahead for several actions as stated by state laws, and the sale of property.
A probate attorney may help the executor in locating assets such as probate and non-probate assets. If needed, a probate attorney will also help in determining date-of-death values by assessment.
It will be required of the executor to gather any life insurance proceeds if the estate is named as beneficiary, including rolling over and making right elections concerning retirement plans, including IRAs and 401(k) s. The probate lawyer will help in handling all these.
Ultimately, the deceased’s real estate, including other assets will have to be renamed in the names of the estate beneficiaries if they won’t be sold. The probate attorney handles the paperwork also, then the executor can share what is remaining of the deceased assets to the designated beneficiaries’ after all necessary bills and taxes have been settled.
Getting a probate attorney
People often ask themselves “How do I get a probate attorney near me 10021?” well, the important thing is not about getting a probate attorney but getting one that is skilled and qualified enough to help you with your probate issues.