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Harness the Power of Probate Attorneys and Unlock Your Estate’s Potential

Are you looking for ways to maximize your estate’s potential? If so, you may have considered hiring a probate attorney. It’s no secret that probate attorneys can be a huge help in unlocking the potential of your estate. In this blog post, we’ll explore what a probate attorney does, the benefits of using one, the duties of a probate attorney, how to find a qualified probate attorney, what to expect when working with a probate attorney, common probate issues and how to resolve them, tips for working with a probate attorney, and probate attorney fees and costs. Let’s get started!

What is Probate and Why Do You Need a Probate Attorney?

Probate is the legal process of administering an estate after a person has passed away. During the probate process, a court oversees the distribution of the deceased’s assets to the rightful heirs. A probate attorney is an attorney who specializes in the probate process. The attorney will help you navigate the complex probate process and ensure that the estate is handled according to the deceased’s wishes.

Probate can be a lengthy and complicated process, and you definitely need a probate attorney to help you navigate it. A probate attorney can help you understand the laws and procedures that apply to your particular estate. They can also help you avoid potential legal problems and ensure that your loved one’s wishes are respected.

What Does a Probate Attorney Do?

Probate attorneys are responsible for representing clients in the probate process. They will assist with the filing of the necessary legal documents and represent their clients in court. Probate attorneys can also provide advice and guidance on estate planning, tax planning, and other estate-related matters.

The duties of probate attorneys vary depending on the case. In some cases, the attorney may be responsible for handling the entire probate process from start to finish. In other cases, the attorney may only be responsible for specific parts of the process. In either case, a probate attorney will provide their clients with valuable legal advice and representation.

Benefits of Using a Probate Attorney

There are many benefits to using probate attorneys. First, they’ll help you understand the laws and procedures that apply to your particular estate. This will help you make sure that all of the necessary documents are filed correctly and that your loved one’s wishes are respected.

Second, probate attorneys can help you avoid potential legal problems. They can help you ensure that all of the required paperwork is in order and that any assets are divided according to the deceased’s wishes. This can help save you time and money in the long run.

Finally, probate attorneys can provide you with valuable advice and guidance on estate planning, tax planning, and other estate-related matters. This can help you maximize the potential of your estate and ensure that your loved one’s wishes are respected.

Duties of Probate Attorneys

The duties of a probate attorney vary depending on the case. Generally, the attorney will be responsible for filing the necessary legal documents and representing the client in court. They may also be responsible for reviewing the will and ensuring that it is valid. In addition, the attorney may be responsible for handling the distribution of assets and ensuring that the deceased’s wishes are respected.

The attorney may also be responsible for managing the estate’s finances and ensuring that all taxes and debts are paid in a timely manner. Finally, the attorney may provide their client with advice and guidance on estate planning, tax planning, and other estate-related matters.

How to Find Qualified Probate Attorneys

Finding qualified probate attorneys can be a daunting task. Fortunately, there are a few steps you can take to ensure that you find a qualified attorney. First, you should ask for recommendations from friends, family, or colleagues who have used a probate attorney in the past. This will help you get an idea of the attorney’s experience and reputation.

Second, you should research the attorney’s background and experience. This can be done by searching online for reviews and testimonials. You should also check to see if the attorney is a member of any professional associations or organizations. Finally, you should schedule a consultation to discuss your particular case and get an idea of the attorney’s fees and costs.

What to Expect When Working with Probate Attorneys

When working with a probate attorney, you can expect them to provide you with a thorough understanding of the laws and procedures that apply to your particular estate. They will also help you file the necessary legal documents and represent you in court. In addition, they can provide you with advice and guidance on estate planning, tax planning, and other estate-related matters.

Finally, you can expect the attorney to be responsive to your needs and provide you with timely updates on the progress of your case. The attorney should also be available to answer any questions or concerns you may have about the probate process.

Common Probate Issues and How to Resolve Them

Probate can be a lengthy and complicated process, and it’s not uncommon for probate issues to arise. These issues can include disputes over the validity of the will, the distribution of assets, and the payment of taxes and debts. Fortunately, there are a few steps you can take to help resolve these issues.

First, you should consult with a probate attorney to get an understanding of the laws and procedures that apply to your particular estate. The attorney will be able to provide you with valuable advice and guidance on how to resolve the issue.

Second, you should attempt to negotiate a resolution with the other parties involved. This can help to avoid a lengthy and costly legal battle. Finally, if a resolution cannot be reached, you may need to file a lawsuit in court.

Tips for Working with Probate Attorneys

Working with a probate attorney can be a daunting task. Fortunately, there are a few tips you can use to make the process easier. First, you should be honest and upfront with the attorney. This will help them provide you with accurate advice and guidance.

Second, you should ask questions and make sure you understand the answers. This will help you make informed decisions about your estate. Finally, you should be patient and allow the attorney time to work on your case.

Probate Attorney Fees and Costs

Probate attorney fees and costs vary depending on the complexity of the case and the attorney’s experience. Generally, attorneys charge an hourly rate for their services. They may also charge a flat fee for certain services, such as filing legal documents or representing you in court.

In addition, the attorney may charge additional fees or costs, such as filing fees, court costs, and other miscellaneous expenses. It’s important to discuss these fees and costs with the attorney before hiring them so that there are no surprises. You can also read about a timeline here.

Conclusion

Probate attorneys can be a huge help in unlocking the potential of your estate. They can help you understand the laws and procedures that apply to your particular estate, avoid potential legal problems, and maximize the potential of your estate. When working with a probate attorney, it’s important to be honest and upfront, ask questions and make sure you understand the answers, and be patient and allow the attorney time to work on your case. Finally, you should discuss fees and costs with the attorney before hiring them to ensure that there are no surprises.

If you’re looking for ways to maximize your estate’s potential, consider hiring a qualified probate attorney. They can help you navigate the complex probate process and ensure that your loved one’s wishes are respected. So don’t wait – unlock your estate’s potential and get the help of a probate attorney today!

We Can Help

If you spent a long time looking into probate attorneys, your journey is over. To ensure that your assets go to the right place, contact Lewman Law for a consultation for a simple will, trust, or other estate planning vehicle. If you’ve been named the executor of an estate and need legal assistance, you can also request a consultation.

Filed under Estate Planning Tips

Estate Planning Checklist: 6 Helpful Tips

When you talk to financial advisors, an estate planning checklist is one of the first things they bring up. That’s because your assets are one of the most important considerations when creating an estate plan. Lucky for you, it’s not as scary as it sounds. Estate planning is simply a process that helps you leave your assets in a way that meets your needs and wishes, while also reducing potential costs and inconveniences for your loved ones. Estate planning isn’t just about taxes or how much money you have. It’s about making sure the people and organizations you care about most will be taken care of after you are gone. Read on to learn what you should include in your estate planning checklist.

What is an estate plan?

An estate plan is a blueprint for how you want your assets to be managed and distributed after you die. It includes instructions for your will, any trusts, and other documents you may want to include, such as powers of attorney, healthcare directives, and funeral wishes. An estate plan can help avoid confusion and conflict among your loved ones after you pass away. It can also protect you from taxes and probate costs.

Estate Planning Checklist

You can of course leave everything to whomever you’d like, but there are some important things to consider as you make your estate planning checklist.

Decide who gets what

– What are the heirs’ financial situations? If you leave an inheritance, do they have the ability and resources to manage it responsibly? In some cases, you may want to leave money or other assets to organizations you believe in, such as a charity or religious institution.

– Will you leave everything to one person? Or will you split it among several people? Leaving everything to one person can cause problems in some situations, as some heirs may feel resentment if they aren’t given a fair share.

– Who will take care of your minor children if both parents die? Do you have older loved ones who might need assistance after you pass away? You may want to leave assets to someone who can help those individuals.

Confirm your intentions with a will

You’ve decided who will get what, so now it’s time to decide where your assets go in the second estate planning checklist item. As you make your will, you can select your heirs, decide how to split up your assets, and name guardians for any minor children. If you don’t name an heir, your estate will go to your state government. The cost of probate can be expensive, making up about 7% of the value of your estate in some states. A will bypasses probate and ensures that your assets go directly to the people you would like to receive them.

Estimate the value of your assets

Next, estimate the value of your assets in your estate planning checklist. This includes your savings and investment accounts, real estate, retirement funds, life insurance, and other tangible property. You’ll need this information when it’s time to make your will.

Plan for paying taxes and probate costs

Another item in your estate planning checklist is making sure your loved ones aren’t burdened by taxes or probate costs. Here’s how you can make sure that doesn’t happen:

– Designate beneficiaries for your retirement funds. You can change these beneficiaries at any time.

– Create a tax-effective estate plan. You can leave assets to whomever you’d like without paying a massive estate tax by planning ahead. By adding a living trust to your estate plan, you can place your assets in a trust for your loved ones. This can significantly reduce the amount of taxes you pay.

– Keep your assets out of probate. Assets placed in a living trust are not probated. Instead, the trust is simply managed for your heirs.

Organize your digital assets

This is an important consideration in your estate planning checklist. You may have some digital assets, such as social media accounts, email accounts, and online businesses. You’ll want to make sure those go to the right people after you pass away. If you don’t make arrangements for them, they may end up in cyberspace forever. You can also set up digital trusts to help manage these assets. You can use these trusts to appoint people to help manage your digital assets after you die. A digital trust is an online account that has login information and instructions. You can set up digital trusts for your email accounts, social media accounts, online businesses, and other digital assets.

Create a living trust to manage your property during your lifetime

If you want to leave your assets to a certain person, you can simply name them in your will. However, the will may not be executed for years, which means your loved ones have to wait. If you create a trust during your lifetime, the trust is managed by someone you appoint to act as the trustee. You can change the trust at any time. If you pass away, your trust will be executed immediately, which means your loved ones can access the assets immediately.

Conclusion

When it comes to estate planning, it’s important to plan ahead with an estate planning checklist. There are many things to consider, and it can be overwhelming to try to do everything at once. You don’t want to leave your loved ones with more questions than answers when you pass away. An estate plan can help you make sure your wishes are carried out after you’re gone.

We Can Help

To ensure that your assets go to the right place, contact Lewman Law for a consultation for a simple will, trust, or other estate planning vehicle. We can also help you with putting together your estate planning checklist today. If you’ve been named the executor of an estate and need legal assistance, you can also request a consultation.

Filed under Estate Planning Tips

What Does an Executor of a Will Do?

When someone dies, the executor of their will is responsible for handling their estate. But, what does an executor of a will do? The role of executor is a challenging one, and it’s important to know what you’ll need to do if you’re asked to take on that responsibility. Being an executor of a will involves more responsibility than simply reading the document and then carrying out its terms. An executor must be willing to spend time and money on tasks that are not as thrilling as reading about them sounds. Let’s take a look at 7 things an executor is responsible for if you are asked to take on that role.

What is an Executor of a Will?

An executor of a will is the person who handles the administration of a deceased person’s estate. The will’s executor has the responsibility of gathering and distributing the deceased person’s assets according to the terms of the will. In order to be an executor, one must be named in another person’s will. An executor of a will is responsible for gathering and distributing the deceased person’s assets according to the terms of the will. Executors often serve in a fiduciary capacity, which means they must act in the best interest of the estate.

How Do Executors of Wills Get Appointed?

What does an executor of a will do to get appointed to the assets of the deceased? There are two ways you could become an executor of a will. The first is that you could be specifically named as an executor in the will. Your loved one may have considered that you may not be able to serve if you are still living in another state or even another country. In that case, they may have specified another person to act as an alternate executor. The second way you could end up as an executor is if you are the surviving spouse. Your loved one may have specifically named you as an executor in their will. They may have chosen you because you can act as executor without being named in the will.

Donate to Charity

Of the things an executor of a will is responsible for, one is that you must donate any items in the deceased person’s estate that are not needed or are not bequeathed to someone else. You can donate those items to charity. You may want to consult with the person’s family; if not, you can select a charity that is meaningful to the deceased person. You also have to find out if the deceased person had any interests in their estate that required the proceeds from their book sales or other intellectual property to go to charity.

Pay off Debt

What does an executor of a will do to the debts of their clients? The executor of the will is responsible for paying off the deceased person’s debts. If the will does not make it clear which debts are to be paid first, it is prudent to pay off any debts due to the government. The executor is responsible for all debts incurred after the date of death. You should pay off debts according to the order of priority. The first debts that should be paid are any medical bills incurred by the deceased person before they died. Next, you should pay off any funeral bills. Next, you should pay off any federal and state taxes owed by the deceased person. Last, you should pay off any debts owed to family members or friends.

Distribute assets as directed by the will

An executor of a will is responsible for distributing the assets that are bequeathed by the will. This may include selling real estate or other assets that will require an appraisal. You may need to hire an appraiser to value the assets in the estate. You may also need to hire a lawyer to draw up the deeds, contracts or other documents that are required to sell assets or transfer them to the beneficiaries named in the will. You may also need to hire an accountant to help you with the accounting you must do for the estate. All of these expenses will be deducted from the assets of the estate before they are distributed to the beneficiaries.

Handle the estate’s taxes

What does an executor of a will do with the taxes that are tied to the estate? Well, one of the things an executor of a will is responsible for is paying any taxes that are due on the estate. If the deceased person owned stocks or bonds, they may have paid taxes on them each year. Those taxes may have been paid with after-tax money. If the deceased person left those stocks or bonds to you in their will, those assets are now part of the estate. Those taxes will be paid with the after-tax money in the estate. If you do not have enough money in the estate to pay those taxes, you should contact the deceased person’s broker or transfer agent to discuss payment arrangements.

You also need to contact the IRS and any other federal or state taxing authority to discuss payment arrangements. You may also have to sell some of the stocks or bonds in the estate. You can sell them through a broker or transfer agent. If you sell them through a broker, you will owe the taxes and you will have to pay the money to the IRS or state taxing authority.

Visit, research, and inventory assets

A few of the things an executor of a will is responsible for is to visit the assets in the estate, research their value and inventory them. If there is real estate in the estate, you may need to visit the property to be sure it is in good condition. You may also have to hire a company to do an environmental analysis of the property. You may need to visit a business that is part of the estate and hire an accountant or tax attorney to assist you with any questions you have about the estate tax ramifications of the business. You may also need to hire an appraiser to help you determine the value of any assets that are not easily quantifiable such as copyrights and trademarks.

Notify beneficiaries of their inheritance

An executor of a will is responsible for notifying the beneficiaries named in the will that they will be receiving assets from the estate. You can do this by written notice or by contacting the beneficiaries personally. You may choose to do the latter so you can get any questions the beneficiaries may have answered.

Sell any asset that is not specifically bequeathed

One of the things an executor of a will is responsible for is selling any asset in the estate that is not specifically bequeathed. You may want to hold an auction for real estate that is bequeathed. You may also want to advertise any other asset for sale. If the asset is not sold, you may want to donate it to a charity.

Conclusion

Being the executor of a will is no easy task, as there is a lot of responsibility in that role. You have to be able to take care of all the legal matters that are involved with an estate and you have to do it without any compensation. You will have to spend a lot of your time taking care of the legal matters related to the estate, and you may have to spend money on things like hiring an appraiser to help value assets. If you are asked to be the executor of someone’s will, you should consider whether you are able to handle the responsibility. If you are, then you should accept the responsibility.

We Can Help

To ensure that your assets go to the right place, contact Lewman Law for a consultation for a simple will, trust, or other estate planning vehicle. If you’ve been named the executor of an estate and need legal assistance, you can also request a consultation.

Filed under Estate Planning Tips

9 Smart Estate Planning Tips from a Livermore Estate Planning Attorney

Everyone wants to leave a legacy that’s positive and impactful. One way to do this is by planning for your future through estate planning, which helps you designate how you want your assets distributed after you’re no longer around to manage them. The best part about estate planning is that it doesn’t have to be complicated or take a lot of time. You can review the following smart tips from a Livermore estate planning attorney and get started on the process today. Such careful preparation will help ease the burden on your loved ones when the time comes and also make sure that your assets go where you intend them to go instead of being subject to probate procedures at the courthouse.

9 Smart Estate Planning Tips from a Livermore Estate Planning Attorney

Create a will

The first step to any estate plan is to create a will. A will is a legal document that specifies the distribution of your assets after you pass away. This will also name the executor of your estate, who will be charged with carrying out your wishes as stated in your will and overseeing the distribution of your assets according to your instructions. That way, your loved ones won’t have to go through the probate process. If you haven’t created a will yet, you should. You never know when you might pass away unexpectedly, and the probate process is a long and complex one that your loved ones would rather not have to go through. A will is also a great way to tie up any loose ends in your life. You can use your will to distribute any remaining funds from your life insurance policy, state any specific bequests that you would like to include in your will, and name guardians for any minor children in your family.

Name a trusted executor

When you make your will, you should name an executor. Your executor will be the person who will be responsible for carrying out your will after you pass away. This person should be someone who you trust completely and who you know will do what you want with your assets after you’ve gone. If you have any children, you should definitely name one of them as your executor. If you don’t have any children, you might choose a close relative, such as a sibling, or a friend who you trust to carry out your wishes. If you name someone other than your children as your executor, you will want to also leave them a letter explaining your reasoning behind your decision. This will help you avoid any hurt feelings in the future.

Estimate your estate’s value

Before you begin planning your estate, you should estimate the value of your assets. This will help you to determine how much you will need to leave to your loved ones in order to ensure that they are provided for. For example, if you have a child who is still in school and you would like to leave enough money to cover their remaining tuition, you will need to plan accordingly and leave enough for them to complete their education. While you don’t need an exact amount for every single thing that you would like to leave behind, it is helpful to have a ballpark figure of how much your assets are worth so that you can plan accordingly and make sure that your loved ones are properly provided for.

Decide how you want to leave your assets

There are two main methods of leaving your assets to your loved ones: through a will or through a trust. A will is a legal document that outlines your distribution of assets, while a trust is a legal document that is set up during your lifetime. Both of these methods have their pros and cons, so you should decide which one is best for you depending on the specifics of your situation. For example, a will can be modified at any point in time, but a trust is an estate planning contract that is completely binding for life. With that being said, most people will choose to include a trust as part of their estate planning in order to protect their assets from creditors. If you have any debt, you will want to be careful about how you leave your assets. You don’t want to leave them to your loved ones while they are still under your name.

Designate heirs

After you’ve determined how you want to distribute your assets, you will want to name your heirs. You can name anyone who you want to inherit your assets, but there are a few people who you should probably name: your spouse, your children, and your parents. You can also name your siblings and any other family members who you would like to receive a portion of your assets. While you can name anyone you want, it is best to name only those people whom you would not feel guilty about leaving your assets to. After you’ve named your heirs, you should write a letter to each one of them to explain your reasoning behind the distribution of your assets. This will help prevent any hurt feelings from arising in the future.

Care for your loved ones after you’re gone

No matter what methods you choose to distribute your assets, it’s important to think about your loved ones after you’ve gone. Are they financially stable enough to take care of themselves? Do they have any special needs that require assistance? If so, you should include that in your estate planning. You don’t want to leave your assets to your children and have them be unable to take care of themselves because they don’t have the proper funds. With that being said, you also don’t want to leave your assets to someone who is financially unstable. You want to make sure that they will be able to use your assets to improve their situation.

Revocable Living Trust (RLT)

If you want to protect your assets from creditors, you should consider setting up a revocable living trust. A trust is a legal contract that is set up during your lifetime. It allows you to hold your assets in your name, but protects them from your creditors. You can add new assets to the trust whenever you want, but you can also remove them when you no longer want them to be included in the trust. A trust is a great way to protect your assets from creditors, but you should also make sure that you have a will in place to distribute your assets according to your wishes after you pass away.

Financial plan for your funeral expenses

This may seem like an odd thing to include in your estate planning, but it’s important to plan for funeral expenses. Funeral expenses can be astronomical, especially if you want a traditional funeral with a casket, a vault, and flowers. If you don’t have enough saved up to cover your funeral expenses, it can put a strain on your loved ones, especially if they are still grieving. You can plan for your funeral expenses by setting up a funeral expense account, purchasing a funeral insurance policy, or setting up a funeral trust. Whichever method you choose, you will be able to rest assured that your loved ones won’t have to worry about the financial burden that funeral expenses can cause.

You can still change your mind

No matter how carefully you plan your estate, things can change. You may get divorced, have a child, experience a financial crisis, get re-married, or experience some other life-changing event. If you feel the need to change your estate plan, you can do so at any time. You don’t have to wait to change your mind about something. If something comes up that completely alters your situation, you can always change your estate plan. If you are going through a divorce, you may want to change your will to name your new spouse as the beneficiary of your assets. If you have a child, you may want to change your will to name that child as your heir. Whatever your situation may be, you can always make changes to your estate plan.

Final words

While it’s important to plan carefully, you also don’t want to put so much pressure on yourself to plan the perfect estate that you end up feeling stressed out. You don’t need to have the most complicated, intricate estate plan in the world. If you follow the tips in this article and keep them in mind when you make your estate plan, you will be well on your way to creating a plan that works for you and your situation.

Connect With Livermore Estate Planning Attorney

If you have any further questions about estate planning and probate or you simply need a Livermore estate planning attorney, please reach out to us at Lewman Law. We are happy to answer any questions you might have.

Filed under Estate Planning Tips