The American Bar Association defines probate as follows:
“Probate is the formal legal process that gives recognition to a will and appoints the executor or personal representative who will administer the estate and distribute assets to the intended beneficiaries.”
When you pass on, there is always the chance that some or all of your property will go through probate. While there are ways to avoid this, such as by creating a trust, this isn’t something that everyone does.
If you are responsible for handling the probate process once a person passes on, there is a lot that you need to know. Not only can this be a stressful time, but making poor decisions will only put you in a worse position.
And this is why you need to consider the benefits of hiring a probate attorney.
Reasons to Make this Decision
It is easy to believe that you can do everything on your own, without the assistance of a probate attorney. Then something happens. You soon find yourself with a variety of questions. You soon realize that you don’t understand the law and how you fit in. At that point, you become confused as to what the future will bring.
Below are several reasons why you should consider hiring a seasoned probate attorney:
- To guarantee that you understand every step of the process. There is more to probate than meets the eye, so you want an attorney on your side who can keep your case moving forward in a timely and efficient manner.
- Dealing with beneficiaries. If you aren’t the only beneficiary, this is a big reason to hire a probate attorney. It is never easy to deal with beneficiaries, as some people may not take kindly to the decisions you make, even if they are the right ones. Any type of objection can get in the way, slowing down the probate process and making it difficult for you to stay on track.
- Assistance with tax concerns. Are you familiar with the final income tax requirements when dealing with an estate? For example, there may be estate tax consequences to be aware of. It is essential that all tax matters be handled at the right time. If you make any mistakes, it is possible to incur personal liability.
- The distribution of assets. The entire point of the probate process is to ensure that all assets are distributed in the appropriate manner. There is more to this than simply handing out money and letting the other party do the rest. You need to know how to obtain the necessary releases, what your role is, and of course, how to protect yourself.
- Answers to your questions. You will undoubtedly have a variety of questions as you move through the probate process, all of which need to be answered in a timely manner. When you have an attorney working on your behalf, you know this person will be able to answer all your questions.
Were you appointed to administer someone’s estate? You may feel overwhelmed and alone. You may believe that there is nobody out there who can help. Don’t let this get you down.
You need to realize that hiring a probate attorney will turn things in your favor soon enough. Once you have a legal professional guiding you, the sense of loneliness will disappear. It won’t be long before you realize that you are equipped to do the job right, from start to finish.
Have you downloaded our free report entitled “Dangers of Do-It-Yourself Wills and Living Trusts?” If not, now is the time to do so. In this report, you will learn why it is not the best idea to create your own will or living trust.
There is a lot that goes into estate planning. Those who understand this, those who are willing to get help, find it easier to avoid common challenges. When combined with professional advice and guidance, this report will ensure that you are on the right track at all times. Once you have a legal professional assisting with your estate planning, everything will begin to come together. You will feel better about the decisions you are making.