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!
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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.
We Can Help
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.