Do you have aging parents, or have you lost a dear one recently? If yes, then you might have surely heard of the probate procedure. It is hard and emotional to think about the death of someone close to you. But it is a situation you cannot avoid.
Being prepared for this inevitability is important. It can make the legal proceedings of settling their estate more convenient. One good way of preparing for this legal decision and end-of-life matter is by working in close coordination with a probate attorney.
Such attorneys are the only licensed, certified, and qualified professionals to offer expertise and help in applying the law to the situation you are in. Working with these experts will definitely help you in understanding how they can simplify the procedure on the whole.
Important Role of a Probate Attorney in Simplifying the Process
These professionals have the ability to wear several hats. This means they can serve varied purposes. Apart from the very obvious title, they can help their clients establish and manage estate plans. They offer counsel in the court, and apply legal suggestions to death-related matters and decisions.
They are also of good help in establishing conservatorships. The services of these experts are also ideal for coming up with powers of attorney. In the majority of the cases, they even serve as estate administrators.
You can easily avoid forcing your loved ones into court post your demise for settling your estate. Create a trust and reliability with the right attorney. These experts can simplify the probate procedure in the following ways:
Help in Assessing and Selling Estate Property
The creators of estate wills or plans generally appoint an individual to take care of their last wishes. Such individuals are called executors. They take up the responsibility of finalizing the deceased’s estate. The procedure entails several important steps:
- Protecting the property
- Distributing the assets among the beneficiaries.
- Paying taxes and creditors from the estate proceeds.
It is not necessary for the executor of the estate will to be a lawyer. But it is crucial for the appointed individual to make decisions based on the highest fiduciary duties in regards to the deceased. The executor ought to serve in good faith while dealing with the deceased’s estate in a fair manner.
Estate executors should carry out the duty of marshaling assets. It means gathering all the documents detailing the estate owned by the decedent. They also need to ensure no property is missed while getting everything appraised by the appraiser appointed by the court. Executors also arrange for property sale as per approvals obtained from the court.
All these different dealings of an executor can easily be simplified by choosing an attorney. Having the right lawyer by your side, as an executor, will help you follow all the necessary laws during the procedure.
Lawyers Serve As Guides During the Entire Procedure
Individuals who find themselves going through court proceedings for settling the estate of their loved ones need the assistance of a professional lawyer. The lawyer can also help you in finding out whether you will have to go through the procedure or not.
These lawyers serve as guides during the entire process. They review the estate documents of the deceased and even share other responsibilities of the executor. In case a loved one has died intestate or without trust but a will, the lawyer can help with all proceedings in such circumstances.
Help in Distributing Assets to the Beneficiaries
We all know that the will of the deceased is enforceable. All the beneficiaries agree to the terms of the will. But there are specific procedures to follow before distributing the assets to the beneficiaries.
Here again, an attorney can be of good help. The court proceedings generally take a long time to complete, even in the best of case scenarios. So, it works to consider the services of a lawyer. He or she will simply the process and also save some time.
Other Miscellaneous Tasks of a Probate Attorney
- The other miscellaneous tasks that these lawyers can help with are:
- Locating all probate and non-probate estate assets.
- Rolling over the retirement accounts like 401Ks and IRAs.
- Gathering proceeds through life insurance policies.
- Paying the necessary debts and final bills of the deceased.
- Settling disagreements among the beneficiaries and the estate executors.
A probate attorney can definitely make the procedure of settling an estate simpler and more convenient. However, you have to make the right choice for the professional.