The Probate process
The probate process can be quiet tricky and complicated depending on the nature of the will including other circumstances surrounding the will. When you have certain tax issues and family conflicts here and there, the probate process would definitely be a long and challenging one. In a situation like that, you will need the assistance of a good probate attorney.
The probate process differs for each sates. For instance, the probate process in a state like New York may be different with the probate process in other states. Each state have their unique estate planning laws and probate rules.
What is Probate?
Probate is simply a legal process that occurs after the death of an individual.
During the probate process, the authenticity of a deceased’s will is verified, and a person (it could be a family or a friend), is selected as the executor of the estate. The executor, who is also known as an administrator, is then left to control or manage the estate’s will and he or she is charged with the distribution of the assets, like property to individuals stated in the will.
In the case where there is no will, the probate process is utilized in determining who would get a specific share of the deceased assets.
Probate is just like a catch-all term that encompasses the legal process, the court where the case is being taken care of, including the act of sharing the assets of the deceased. The probate process encompasses all facets of estate planning, such as:
- Determining if the will of the deceased is valid
- Selecting an estate executor or administrator
- Getting the actual net worth if all assets present in the will
- Settling all estate taxes including debts
- Locating all beneficiaries or heirs and giving them their portion of the asset
The whole process starts right after the representatives of the decedent tables a petition in the probate court. The entire process then ends when the probate court officially draw a conclusion on the estate.
The Duty of a Probate Attorney
When it comes to handling a probate case, a probate attorney is that go-to individual, someone you can completely rely on. A probate lawyer is basically a state-certified representative who offers help in terms of advice to the representative of an estate including the beneficiaries of the decedent’s estate.
The daily tasks of a probate attorney can fluctuate depending on the probate laws of the state where the individual died in , and it also depends on whether the person in question died with a will or not.
A probate attorney can help in several areas of the probate process. They can help to locate and secure probate assets, and also get appraisals on the properties of the deceased. A probate attorney can also help in filing the documents required by the probate court before deadline.
Aside from that, a probate lawyer can provide advice to their clients regarding the settlement of the bills and outstanding debts of the deceased. With the help of a probate lawyer, you can also monitor the checking accounts of the estate.
A probate attorney can also help in managing the payment of all important and inheritance taxes, and ensure that all income tax problems are well taken care of.
Other Duties of a Probate Lawyer
Below are other duties of a probate attorney:
- Settling strives that ensue between beneficiaries and personal representatives
- Selling any estate property
- Sharing the assets of the deceased among the selected or stated beneficiaries
As displayed above, a probate attorney can help with several responsibilities regarding the probate process. They can make that difficult probate process look like a walk in the park thanks to their skills and vast experience.
When do you require the Services of a Probate Attorney?
If the decedent planned their estate property appropriately before his or her demise, you may not need to take care of any estate issue in a court setting. Assets like joint tenancy including survivor community can always be taken care of outside the probate court.
You also do not need probate for assets that has a beneficiary attached to it.