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Tips From a Pleasanton Probate Lawyer

If you’ve ever had to go through probate, then you already know there are a lot of complicated laws and processes to muddle through from start to finish. Because of this, you may not be sure what your legal rights are, so it’s important to get advice from an attorney who specializes in probate and estate planning.  With guidance from an experienced estate planning attorney, you can learn how to avoid mistakes, making sure the process goes more smoothly for everyone involved. This blog post was written to provide some insight and tips from a Pleasanton probate lawyer. Let’s talk about some of the basics…

File a Petition for Probate

If you’re the executor of the estate, you’ll need to file a probate petition to start the legal process. One thing to keep in mind is that this step needs to be completed in the county where the deceased person lived. It’s also necessary to submit their birth certificate, as well as their will—if one was left behind. 

Inventory Debts and Assets

You will also need to take account of the deceased person’s debts and assets. Note that creditor claims are prioritized, so it’s essential to have a clear picture of the complete financial situation before assets are distributed to beneficiaries. Often, there are also applicable taxes to consider, like a final income tax on the estate. You may wish to set up an account in order to pay off these final expenses. A special estate account can help you keep track of everything, which is key to balancing your stress during this time. 

Once all debts are paid in full, any remaining assets can then be designated to their rightful heirs. If there isn’t a will, however, there will be an extra step in this process because the probate court will need to decide who the legal beneficiaries are. 

Work with a Probate Lawyer

Working with an experienced probate attorney has several significant benefits to consider. Some of the main advantages of hiring a probate lawyer include knowing your legal rights, understanding the probate process, how to avoid costly legal mistakes, and having someone who can answer your questions as they come up. 

Talk to a Pleasanton Probate Lawyer

Probate can seem like a complex and confusing ordeal because it can be, but an experienced lawyer is able to guide you through the process. If your loved one has passed away without leaving a will, it’s important to understand what steps need to be taken in order for their belongings to be distributed. This can be especially stressful if there are family disputes. But at Lewman Law, we’re here for you each step of the way. We can take care of all the necessary paperwork, and we even provide a free initial consultation. To talk to a Pleasanton probate lawyer, please contact us today by calling (925) 447-1250.

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Do You Need a Probate Attorney?

Do you think you might need a probate attorney to help you settle an estate? If so, the following blog post was written for you. This article will answer some common questions about probate and why it’s important to have an attorney involved during this process. Read on to learn more!

What Does Probate Mean?

So what does probate even mean? It’s a funny word, but probate is simply the legal process that’s used to distribute the property of a deceased person after they’re gone. Assets need to be passed on to whoever is entitled to inherit them from a will or trust, and there are legal steps to help us accomplish that.

But it’s not hard to imagine that this can be an extremely complex and emotional process. That’s why it’s best, in most cases, to hire an experienced probate attorney for professional guidance. This type of lawyer specializes in handling family estate disputes, estate taxes, wills, and different types of trusts. If necessary, they can also oversee trusts.

Signs You Need to Talk to an Expert

If you’re confused about the probate process, you might need an experienced lawyer to help you understand each step. Here are a few signs that hiring an expert may be necessary:

  • You have questions about what needs to happen next in order for your loved one’s estate to be distributed properly.
  • You’re not sure how to distribute assets in accordance with a will or trust.
  • You can’t find a way to contact missing beneficiaries and you’re not sure what to do.
  • There’s no will, or you’re concerned the will is invalid.
  • You’re worried about making costly mistakes.
  • There’s some conflict between family members regarding the estate.
  • You’re not sure what the next step is, or where to begin.

If any of these doubts or concerns sound familiar, know that you aren’t alone. A lawyer who specializes in estate planning will have the knowledge and resources necessary to help you with any challenges you face during this difficult time.

Probate’s Emotional Toll

Probate is a complicated process that can be emotionally draining for everyone involved. The emotional toll on family members in the midst of probate can be great, and lead to heated disagreements. Sadly, it’s often difficult for families to come together in a time of crisis. This is especially true when financial factors are involved, so it’s important to prepare for the possibility that there may be disagreements. The best way to move forward in this situation is to work with an experienced probate attorney to find out what legal options are available. A skilled estate planning lawyer will be able to give you advice on what’s fair, as well as how to get through the legal aspect of this painful time.

Talk to a Probate Attorney

If you’re in need of a probate attorney, contact Lewman Law today. We have many years of experience and we’re here to help with the overwhelming process that is probate law. Our team will work hard to make sure all your questions are answered, and that we’re here for you through each step of this complex legal process. Call Lewman Law today at (925) 447-1250 so we can get started on making things right again as quickly as possible!

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The Ins and Outs of the Probate Process

Are you looking for information on the Dublin probate process? You’ve come to the right place. Lewman Law has years of experience in estate planning, as well as what’s involved in settling an estate. Keep reading for an overview of the basics. 

The Dublin Probate Process

It’s essential to first note that the probate process varies depending on which state you reside in. So, what’s true for California won’t necessarily be relevant to someone who lives in Tennessee. This is another reason why we recommend working with a skilled Dublin probate lawyer. 

How is Probate Defined?

Before moving on, let’s define what we even mean when we talk about probate. Essentially, probate is the legal process that is set in motion after someone dies. If the deceased left behind a will, it needs to be reviewed and accepted as a valid document before their estate can be finalized. 

On the other hand, if there is no will, probate is still necessary. This is because the court will need to determine who inherits any assets or property since no beneficiaries were named. This is why it’s so essential to create a will. Under these conditions, things can be drawn out, and family conflicts are more likely to arise.

Is it Possible to Avoid Probate?

This is a question that’s best discussed in person with your Dublin probate lawyer, but the most direct way to avoid probate is usually to set up a living trust. Though, this needs to be done in advance. When you set up a living trust, the idea is that anything within that trust is held jointly with your beneficiaries. This can also help your loved ones avoid paying probate fees later on.

Another option is to name beneficiaries on your investment accounts as well as your bank accounts. For example, your 401K. The Dublin probate process can be slow and costly, so this is a more efficient way to transfer your assets. Keep in mind that you can also designate beneficiaries for life insurance policies, stocks and bonds, and also pension plans. 

And finally, a third way to sidestep the probate process is to hold property jointly. For example, if your home is in both your name as well as your significant other’s name, owning jointly means that the property can pass directly to the surviving partner because there’s no need for probate. 

Peace of Mind

A knowledgeable Dublin probate lawyer will be able to walk you through all of the necessary estate planning paperwork to make sure nothing is left out. When you hire an estate planning attorney, what you’re really paying for is peace of mind. Whether you’re just starting from scratch, need to update a will, or have questions about probate, nothing can replace having experienced guidance on your side. 

Get Help with the Dublin Probate Process

Are you feeling confused about the Dublin probate process? Lewman Law is committed to leading you through it with skilled and compassionate guidance. Talk to an experienced probate lawyer today by calling (925) 447-1250.

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Who Pays the Probate Lawyer?

It’s no secret that legal services can be costly, especially if long hours are racked up in court, so who pays the probate lawyer? If you’re looking for a Tracy probate lawyer, here are few tips to guide you when it comes to the bill. 

Payment Structures

Not all probate attorneys follow the same payment structure. This is something to keep in mind when you begin your search. Most people want a ballpark figure before they hire an attorney, though. Having no idea what the final price tag will come to is sure to induce anxiety during what may already be a stressful time. With that in mind, let’s take a look at the most common payment structures that your Tracy probate lawyer is likely to use. This will help you select the best option for your situation. 

A Flat Fee

The flat fee is a popular billing method. If your attorney is experienced, they will have a detailed understanding of the process as well as how many hours of work they need to invest to see things through. If this is the case, your Tracy probate lawyer may charge a flat fee, meaning you pay a lump sum. 

Some attorneys prefer this payment structure because it means they don’t need to keep hourly records. Also, clients know exactly what they’re paying and don’t need to focus on the clock. Having said that, be sure to question what is included in a flat feet arrangement. It’s important to fully understand what it does and does not cover so you’re not stuck in a bind. Find out if it covers things like court filing costs or other miscellaneous fees. Similarly, what happens if your case goes to court? Does the payment structure change?

An Hourly Rate

Charging by the hour is common when it comes to legal services. But hourly rates will vary based on various factors. For instance, the state, the amount of experience a probate attorney has, as well as how urban or rural the setting is. As you might imagine, urban centers are more costly in every way. Bear in mind, though, that someone with years of experience may charge more, but it also means that they probably complete tasks more efficiently. If you’ve done something a hundred times, you’re much faster at it. 

A lawyer may also oversee paralegals who handle their standard forms, and pass off a lower hourly rate for these services. Paralegals have specialty training, but they don’t spend as many years in school as attorneys. This is one option when lowering costs is important. 

Talk to a Tracy Probate Lawyer Today

Lewman Law, APC is committed to leading you through the complicated probate process with skillful and compassionate guidance. Talk to an experienced probate lawyer today by calling (925) 447-1250.

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