It is devastating when a person near and dear to the family passes on. Not only do you have to deal with the emotional distraught that comes with losing that person, but there are loads of paperwork to be done.
The deceased person’s entire estate is handled by an executor also known as a personal representative. This person should oversee all affairs to ensure that the will and testament are finalized to meet the deceased’s wishes. To help and advise the executor in this role, one can appoint a probate attorney.
What is a Probate Attorney?
This professional is a state licensed and legal lawyer who assists the executor and family in the legal proceedings after a person has died. This usually includes:
– The distributing of assets
– Calculating the worth of the deceased’s assets
– Identifying all heirs and beneficiaries of the deceased’s assets
– Validating the will and testament of the deceased
– Appointing an estate executive, administrator, or representative
– Settle any outstanding amounts on debt or estate taxes
– Assisting in all legal proceedings and paperwork after someone dies
Learn more about the job specifics of a probate lawyer here: https://estate.findlaw.com/probate/what-is-a-probate-lawyer.html
Even though your family might have an executor or a representative that is appointed to handle assets in the estate, hiring a probate attorney should be considered. Here are 7 reasons why:
1. Will Help to Collect all Assets
When someone dies there are a lot of possessions that need to be accounted for. Even some that the family might not even be aware of. A probate lawyer will be able to assist the executor in securing and locating both non-probate and probate assets. This basically means whether the possessions should go through a legal process to transfer ownership or not.
If some possessions aren’t being sold, then there should be a retitling to the estate beneficiaries. Non-probate possessions, which is typically household items that doesn’t have a lot of value, can be distributed by the executor amongst the family members.
2. Helps with Legal Paperwork
Collecting and noting down all the assets and finances can be a lot of work. If you have no experience in dealing with this, it can be a serious headache. The probate attorney in Bay Area will take care of all the paperwork that needs to be legally filed and finished. As well as sending it to the right chains to have it all legally approved.
Getting help with finalizing admin is a great weight off of the family’s shoulders.
3. Handles all the Finances
When someone dies there can be a lot of unfinished payments that have to be dealt with. A probate attorney can give financial advice to the family regarding outstanding bills and debts.
This also means that there are many debit orders, contracts, and monthly payments that have to be stopped. Lawyers will take care of filing all documents and paperwork required by the court.
The executor’s responsibility is to keep track of the money within the estate. An experienced probate attorney will be able to oversee the executor. In order to make sure that the money in the estate’s checking account is well looked after.
They will also be able to determine whether there will be any inheritance or estate taxes that need to be paid. The probate attorney will determine where the money should come from to pay taxes. And other final costs including funeral and medical bills. As well as where any further income should be appointed to.
4. Solves Disputes Between Beneficiaries
There might be some discontent between beneficiaries when it comes to dividing assets from the deceased. It’s during this time that emotions are high and opinions will fly. A little bit of legal advice can go a long way in making sure relationships aren’t ruined when the last will and testament are being enforced.
An experienced probate attorney will know what parts of the process should be run by the court first. Beneficiaries won’t be able to do as they please without requesting the court’s permission first. Having someone on hand that knows state laws when it comes to handling assets, will reassure all beneficiaries involved.
Read this guide on how you should go about writing your own will and testament.
5. Gives you Peace of Mind
Entrusting someone with all the nitty gritty legal procedures can really help everyone involved to have a diplomatic experience. To deal with someone’s death can be really stressful and sad. Having a third party involved to make important decisions and guide the executor through the process will give everyone peace of mind.
An objective and legal opinion will ensure that there is no unfairness throughout the process and that no beneficiary is left to deal with unsolved financial issues.
All beneficiaries will have further peace of mind, knowing that all paperwork and finances will be solved in a timely manner. Instead of trying to deal with it all by themselves.
6. Assists with the Sale of Estate Property
In some cases, the deceased will have a large number of properties on their name. When the beneficiaries of those properties don’t want to take on the property, then the probate attorney can assist in selling.
They will be able to obtain and determine the value of the properties through appraisals and then sell according. Once the money has been received for the property, the attorney can guide and assist the executor to distribute it fairly.
Follow these guidelines when planning your own documents for an estate: https://www.moneytalksnews.com/estate-planning-documents-you-need-right-now/
This process might take much longer, but the lawyer will keep track of the entire procedure.
7. Distributes Assets
There have been some reports of probate cases where beneficiaries are far and widely spread. In these instances, the probate attorney is responsible to distribute assets between different beneficiaries. They can also help the executor find beneficiaries and distribute fairly.
By solving disputes between beneficiaries in a legal way with the court’s approval, assets can be distributed accordingly with the guidance of a lawyer.
Hiring a probate attorney in the Bay Area is greatly beneficial to everyone involved. Getting that extra bit of legal expertise and assistance will ensure that all loose ends are tied. Not to mention that all proceedings will be dealt with according to the state’s law and approved by the court.
When beneficiaries and family members put the legal responsibilities on a lawyer’s shoulders, they give themselves the opportunity to mourn the death of their beloved instead of stressing over finances and assets.