So you lost a loved one and now have all sorts of legal and financial headaches. Perhaps your relative left you no instructions, no will, and no trust. Or, maybe your relative is incapacitated. What can you do? You have two options. You could start researching and teaching yourself to handle the legal process known as probate, or you can hire a probate attorney.
Before going into the two options, it’s important to first understand what probate is. It’s the legal process required when a person passes away, to distribute their assets. This occurs if an individual didn’t do a will or trust, with a few exceptions.
With the above said, probate is a legal process. You need to follow certain rules and appear before a judge. The situation can get even more complicated should the probate be challenged by other relatives. The following lists a few scenarios when a probate attorney should be considered.
Complex Legal Matters
If the estate of the deceased is complex with multiple assets, there is a special needs child, or out of state assets, then you should consider bringing a probate attorney who understands and knows how to navigate these intricate matters.
When going into probate, if you believe other relatives will be creating issues or that the distribution of assets could be contested, then you should hire a probate lawyer. They understand the nuances of the process including the notice requirements. By bringing in an attorney, dhn saving time and money.
Disputing Capacity/Undue Influence
Probate maybe required outside of death. If you have a loved one who has become incapacitated, then you may need to get the court involved to designate someone to oversee him/her. This is not an easy process.
Alternatively, when a loved one is under undue influence or pressure, this may require legal action. An experienced probate attorney can help you navigate the process.
The probate process is not a simple process. A sophisticated attorney can help in many scenarios. Although you may save money by not using an attorney, the above situations are complex and you would likely save time and money if hiring a probate attorney.