The Probate Process and Why You Need an Experienced Lawyer to Guide You Through
Probate is the legal process by which a court oversees the distribution of a deceased person’s assets to their beneficiaries. The probate process is necessary to ensure that the deceased person’s wishes are carried out as they intended and that any debts or taxes are paid before the assets are distributed. In this blog, we will provide an overview of the probate process and some of the key steps involved.
The Probate Process
The first step in the probate process is to determine if the deceased person had a valid will. If they did, the will is filed with the court and a representative (known as an executor or personal representative) is appointed to carry out the instructions in the will. If the deceased person did not have a valid will, the court will appoint an administrator to distribute the assets according to state laws.
Once the representative is appointed, they will take inventory of the deceased person’s assets and debts. This includes everything from real estate and personal property to bank accounts and investments. The representative will also notify any creditors of the death and pay any outstanding debts.
Next, the representative will file a petition with the court to open the probate. This is necessary to give the representative the legal authority to access and manage the deceased person’s assets. The court will also issue a notice to the beneficiaries and any interested parties, giving them an opportunity to object to the will or the distribution of assets.
Once the probate is open, the representative will begin the process of distributing the assets. This can include selling property, transferring bank accounts, and paying out any beneficiaries. Any taxes or other debts must be paid before any assets are distributed. The representative will also file any necessary tax returns and close out any accounts.
Important to Note
One important thing to note is that the probate process can be time-consuming and expensive. Court fees, attorney fees, and other costs can add up quickly. However, there are ways to avoid probate by using methods like trusts or transfer-on-death accounts. These methods allow assets to pass to beneficiaries without the need for probate court approval.
Another important thing to note is that probate laws vary from state to state, so it’s important to consult with a local attorney who is well-versed in the probate laws in your state.
Probate Lawyers Can Help
The probate process can be complex and confusing, and it’s important to have an experienced attorney by your side to guide you through the process. Here are a few reasons why you need a lawyer for the probate process:
- Probate laws vary from state to state: Each state has its own set of laws and regulations governing probate, and it’s important to have an attorney who is well-versed in the laws of your state. They can help you navigate the legal requirements and ensure that everything is done correctly.
- A lawyer can help you avoid mistakes: Probate can be a time-consuming and complicated process, and it’s easy to make mistakes. An attorney can help you avoid common mistakes, such as missing deadlines or not properly accounting for assets, which can result in delays or additional costs.
- A lawyer can help you with disputes: In some cases, probate can lead to disputes among beneficiaries or other interested parties. An attorney can help you resolve disputes and protect your interests, whether through negotiation or litigation.
- A lawyer can help you with taxes: Probate can also involve a variety of tax issues, such as estate taxes, income taxes, and other taxes. An attorney can help you navigate these issues and ensure that everything is done correctly.
- A lawyer can help you to avoid probate: An attorney can also help you to plan ahead and avoid probate altogether, by using methods such as trusts or transfer-on-death accounts.
Overall, having a lawyer by your side during the probate process can provide you with peace of mind and ensure that the process goes as smoothly as possible. An attorney can help you navigate the complex legal requirements, protect your interests, and ensure that the wishes of the deceased are carried out as intended.
In summary, probate is the legal process by which a court oversees the distribution of a deceased person’s assets to their beneficiaries. The process is necessary to ensure that the deceased person’s wishes are carried out as they intended and that any debts or taxes are paid before the assets are distributed. The key steps in the probate process include determining if there is a valid will, taking inventory of assets and debts, filing a petition with the court, distributing assets and paying taxes, and closing out any accounts. However, probate can be time-consuming and expensive process, and there are ways to avoid probate by using methods like trusts or transfer-on-death accounts.
Lewman Law Can Help
If you’re facing a legal issue related to probate or estate planning, don’t hesitate to contact Lewman Law. We have a deep understanding of probate laws and can guide you through the process with compassion and expertise. We can help you navigate the complexities of probate and ensure that your loved one’s wishes are carried out as intended.
Don’t let the probate process overwhelm you. Let probate attorney help you through this difficult time. Trust us to handle the legal details while you focus on what’s important – remembering and honoring your loved one.
Call us to schedule a consultation today.
Filed under Probate Tips
￼Need a Probate Attorney Near Me? Let Us Help Today
If you have plans to leave assets to someone after your death, or if you have been named as a beneficiary in another individual’s will, you will probably need the services of a probate attorney. Read on to learn about what a probate attorney near me can help you with today!
What Does a Probate Attorney Near Me Do?
Probate attorneys are experienced professionals who help individuals and their families go through the process of handling an estate after someone has passed on. These lawyers can help you navigate this complex process and protect your interests as needed. The role of a probate attorney is multifaceted.
Depending on your personal situation and needs, an attorney may be able to offer general advice about making wills, trusts, and other documents that may assist in managing your assets during your lifetime; draw up those legal documents for you; act as your advocate within probate court; manage the final distribution of assets after all other final details have been finalized; and advise you on any tax liabilities that may arise from advising in this area. There are many considerations when choosing a probate lawyer, including experience with clients in similar situations, cost, location, and availability of service.
What is Probate?
Probate is the legal process through which an estate is distributed following the death of an individual. An executor named in the deceased individual’s will often oversees this process and does not need the assistance of an attorney. If the estate is relatively small, if there is no will naming an executor, or if there is a dispute among family members about the terms of the will, an attorney may be beneficial to ensure that the process is carried out according to the law.
During this process, an executor will deal with the applicable government agency, known as the probate court. This court is charged with managing the distribution of assets among the deceased person’s beneficiaries. These assets may include real estate, stocks, bonds, cars, and cash. When the probate court has finalized its process and distributed assets, it issues a “probate discharge.” As long as the terms of the will have been followed, this will allow beneficiaries to receive their share of the deceased person’s assets.
Who Can Benefit from a Probate Lawyer?
Anyone whose estate is likely to be valued at $100,000 or more could benefit from hiring a probate lawyer. While a will may be specific about how a person’s assets should be distributed after his or her death, it cannot dictate how probate will be handled. A probate lawyer can advise you on the best way to go about this process and assist you in making sure that everything is carried out according to the law. If you have valuable real estate, stocks, bonds, or other assets that will be part of your estate, it may be beneficial to hire a probate lawyer to help you create a will that names an executor who can oversee the probate process. In many cases, probate lawyers also assist with trusts, guardianships, and other issues.
How Does a Probate Attorney Help During the Probate Process?
If you need to go through probate, you will likely have to go to court. A probate attorney can help you navigate this process and make sure that all of your interests are protected. The courts may have specific rules regarding the way probate is handled in the area where your estate is located. A probate lawyer is familiar with these rules, and can guide you through the process.
During this process, a probate attorney can help you with any of the following tasks:
Drawing up documents: An attorney can help you create the documents that are needed to finalize the distribution of your estate. This can include drawing up a will, a trust, or other appropriate documents.
Advising you about tax issues: The probate process will cause taxes to be due on your estate. A probate lawyer can help you understand how you should report these taxes and deal with any issues that may arise.
Advocating for you in probate court: If there is a dispute among family members about the terms of a will, or if the estate is relatively small, probate court may be the appropriate venue for resolving this dispute. A probate attorney can help you navigate this process and make sure that your interests are represented.
Managing the final distribution of assets: Once the probate court has finalized its process, the assets will be distributed according to the terms of the will or by the court if there is no will. A probate lawyer can help you manage this process so that all of the details are handled correctly.
Pros of Working With a Probate Attorney
Probate is a complex process that can be difficult to navigate on your own. An experienced probate lawyer can help you navigate this process with ease and make the most of your situation.
Here are some advantages of working with a probate lawyer:
– They understand the law – Probate lawyers go through specialized training that helps them understand the law and how it applies to your situation. This can make the process easier to navigate.
– They have experience – A probate lawyer has probably helped many people through the probate process. They understand the many challenges that can come up and can help you navigate these challenges with ease.
– They can help you understand your options – The process of creating and distributing an estate can be complex. A probate lawyer can help you understand the best way to handle these issues and make the best decisions for your situation.
– They can help you manage expectations – The probate process can be slow because it is regulated by the government. A probate lawyer can help you understand how long the process is likely to take and help you manage your expectations.
– They can protect your interests – The probate process can be complex and challenging. A probate lawyer can help you navigate these challenges and make sure that your interests are protected at every turn.
– They can help you navigate complex issues – There are many complex issues associated with the probate process, including taxes, disputes among family members, and real estate issues. A probate lawyer can help you navigate these issues and make sure that nothing is missed.
How to Find the Right Attorney for Your Needs
When you are searching for a probate lawyer, you want to make sure that you find the right fit for your situation.
There are several ways to find a probate lawyer, including:
– Ask other people – If you know anyone who has had to go through the probate process, ask them which attorney they used. You can also ask other legal professionals to make recommendations.
– Review online directories – There are several online directories that can help you find probate attorneys in your area. Many of these directories also allow you to filter results based on specific criteria, such as cost or location.
– Hire an attorney referral service – Attorney referral services receive a fee when you hire an attorney through their service. However, many are worth the cost of their fee because they help you find a reputable attorney who specializes in your area of law.
– Conduct an initial screening – Once you have a list of potential attorneys, conduct an initial screening to determine which ones are a good fit for you. You can do this by asking each attorney a few questions.
– Ask for a consultation – Once you have narrowed your list down to a few good candidates, arrange a consultation with each one. During this consultation, make sure to ask plenty of questions.
– Be wary of scams – Unfortunately, fraud is common in the legal profession. Be wary of attorneys who offer to represent you with no upfront costs or who promise results that are too good to be true.
Get Expert Advice from Probate Attorney Near Me
If you have any further questions, or you would like to get started today, please contact Lewman Law now. We look forward to learning how we can help you and your loved ones.
Filed under Estate Planning Tips, Legal Services, Probate Tips
￼How to Remove a Trust Protector from Your Will
A trust protector is a person granted the power to protect trust and is in charge of an estate, not to mention its assets. A trust protector’s job is to watch over and monitor the trust and make sure that no one takes advantage of a beneficiary. They oversee beneficiaries and make sure that they receive what’s been promised to them by a parent or guardian. If you have a will with a plan to disperse gifts or property to your loved ones, chances are you have appointed a trust protector. But what if you want to remove your trust protector? Read on to learn how to remove a trust protector from your will.
How to Remove a Trust Protector
Why would you want to remove your trust protector?
There are several reasons why you might want to remove your trust protector. For one, you may no longer be close with this person. Therefore, you would want to remove that person and add a new one to fulfill your final wishes by someone who knows you currently. In reality, people want to remove their trust protector because someone else in the family has more knowledge on how to handle household finances. Another common reason is if that person becomes incapacitated or deceased. In that case, they won’t be able to do their job.
But there are many other reasons why you would want to remove your trust protector. For instance, if it’s difficult for them to fulfill their duties because of distance, illness, or conflict with other family members. Another reason is if they’re not capable of handling the responsibilities required by the position. Or if they’re trying to take advantage of the assets entrusted to them.
If you’ve been considering removing your trust protector from your will for any reason at all, read on to learn how.
How do you remove your trust protector?
There are three ways to remove your trust protector. The first is for those who have a living trust and have named themselves the trustee, the person in charge of administering the trust. If you are your own trustee, then it’s easy to remove yourself as a trust protector by changing or removing your will or by changing the terms of your trust.
The second way to remove a trust protector is to revoke their status, either because they want to step down or they’re no longer competent enough to serve in this capacity. You can do this through an amendment to the trust document that removes their power under it. The third way is if they die before you do. In that case, you will need to update your trust and appoint a new trust protector.
Steps to remove a trust protector
1) Determine if the person holding this position should be removed.
2) Gather all relevant paperwork, such as the will or trust agreement, and any other documents that may be relevant.
3) Schedule a meeting with an experienced lawyer in wills and estate law.
4) Present your case to the lawyer, explaining what you believe needs to happen. The lawyer will then draw up papers for you to sign that will remove someone from their position as a trustee or protector of an estate.
5) Get two witnesses who are not beneficiaries of the estate to sign on to the papers as well. The witnesses will need to attest that they have read the documents and know what they are signing, and agree with its contents.
Who needs to know?
It is an excellent idea to let people know when you remove a trust protector from your will. You don’t want them to find out that someone else has been appointed and wonder why you didn’t tell them about it. If the trust protector is someone close to you, you should speak with them first and explain why you are removing them.
Need More Help?
With the correct trust protector in place, you’ll be able to determine what happens to your assets when you die, protect your family’s inheritance, and ensure that your wishes are fulfilled.
To get in touch with a Pleasanton estate planning attorney, contact us at Lewman Law today by dialing (925) 447-1250.
Filed under Estate Planning Tips, Probate Tips
Looking for Probate Lawyers Near Me? 5 Tips
The death of a loved one is always difficult to handle. When planning for the funeral and probating the will, there are many decisions to make, which can be incredibly overwhelming when the deceased was your spouse or parent. However, you do not have to go through this process alone, and having proper legal representation is a tremendous weight to be lifted in this challenging time. If you are looking for probate lawyers near me, here are some things that you should consider before deciding who to hire.
5 Tips for Probate Lawyers Near Me
Find a lawyer with several years of experience in probate law
It’s important to find a lawyer who has many years of experience in probate law. Many different legal issues can arise, and you need someone who knows what they’re doing. Ensure the lawyer you hire is qualified and has expertise in this area, not to mention several years of experience.
Make sure that the lawyer you’re considering has a good reputation
Just like any profession, you want to make sure that the lawyer you’re considering has a good reputation. You can do this by asking friends and family for recommendations or looking on reputable review sites like Yelp. Check out Google reviews, any social media pages, and the Better Business Bureau website for more insight.
Consider how frequently the lawyer will be working on the case
Did the deceased leave behind a complicated will, or are you planning on taking care of most of the legal work? If this is your first time working with probate lawyers near you, it’s best to find someone who is willing to take on a case with periodic updates.
Find out if their fees are negotiable
It is important to find out if the probate lawyer’s fees are negotiable. Most lawyers charge a flat fee for handling a will but they usually have a different fee for helping with probate. If you can’t afford a lawyer, you should consider looking for someone that offers a payment plan or negotiate their fees. You may want to start by asking them about any discounts or special programs they offer to help clients who can’t afford their services.
Ask about other services they offer
Not all probate lawyers are the same. Some offer a variety of services, including estate planning and tax preparation. So it’s important to ask about the full range of legal services they can provide. Probate law is complex, so make sure to find a lawyer who offers other services in addition to probates.
We Can Help
Working with an experienced inheritance lawyer has several essential benefits. A will can be especially frustrating if family disputes arise. But at Lewman Law, we’re here to help you every step of the way. We can take care of all the necessary documents and provide a free initial consultation. To speak with the Pleasanton estate attorney, contact us today at (925) 447-1250 or fill out an inquiry here.
Filed under Probate Tips