If you have recently lost a loved one, probate law may be something that you are interested in.
Probate lawyers help settle probate cases and estate administration. They will make sure all of the proper paperwork is filed with the court to transfer property, pay taxes on any inheritance, and distribute assets according to what was requested by the person who passed away. If you’re looking for probate lawyer near me, keep reading to understand the process.
What Happens When Someone Dies in relative to the probate process?
When someone passes away, their assets need to be distributed by law. If they have a will, the executor follows the rules in that will.
If not, then their relatives get it. The person who tries to distribute it is called a probate lawyer and helps with that process.
What is a probate lawyer or probate attorney?
Unlike other lawyers, probate attorneys work with the executors and beneficiaries of an estate to settle the affairs of a decedent.
In some instances, however, this process can be avoided if all of the decedent’s assets have been placed in a trust; and while it doesn’t guarantee smooth transfer outside of court and legal proceedings (like probate), probate lawyers have other functions as well.
Some probate attorneys also represent the decedent’s creditors in court, or even take on the defense of those who are accused of a crime and may be disputing criminal charges against them.
The probate lawyer will work to do what they can for their client while understanding that it’s not their job to dictate the course of events, but instead to work within them.
Is a probate lawyer the same as an estate attorney?
A probate lawyer will be in charge of the estate and its assets, but their role depends on whether or not the deceased left a will.
When the deceased left a probate lawyer will probate the estate. If they didn’t, then it’s up to the decedent’s relative or spouse to file for probate and appoint an executor who will be in charge of transferring assets.
Probating means that all the property is reviewed and accounted for so there are no surprises later on down the line when someone tries to get their hands on these resources without authorization.
The probate attorney reviews documents like wills (if any), bank statements, credit reports, tax returns, life insurance policies, retirement plans – anything with monetary value belonging to either person named as beneficiary in order to ensure nothing is missed out before dividing up those possessions among beneficiaries.
What does a probate lawyer do?
A probate lawyer can answer any questions and provide guidance to executors during the difficult process of settling an estate.
They will often help with tasks such as identifying, securing, appraising, paying bills for assets that are part of a decedent’s estate.
A probate lawyer may also be responsible for determining if there is tax due on inheritance or other income-related matters related to the interest in property left by someone after they die.
The types of issues handled by these professionals include:
-Collecting proceeds from life insurance policies
-Identifying and securing estate assets; ensuring their payment through appropriate documentation (such as wills) before distributing them among beneficiaries
-Obtaining appraisals for real properties belonging to heirs under court supervision
-Assisting with probate administration
-Helping heirs file estate tax returns or income taxes
-Representing trustees in probate and coordinating probate proceedings.
-A probile lawyer will advise clients on how to avoid probate, what types of assets can be transferred without going through the probate process, which type of trusts are most suitable for an individual
Commonly Asked Questions About Probate Lawyers
What does a probate lawyer do for you?
Probate lawyers help you probate an estate, including the identification and securing of probate assets; ensuring that all debts are paid before distributing them among beneficiaries.
Why would you need a probate attorney?
A probate attorney may be needed when there is a will, but no executor. Or he or she might be necessary to probate an estate after the death of someone who had no will at all- such as those who die intestate (without a valid will).
What is the difference between a probate lawyer and an estate lawyer?
An estate lawyer is someone who may probate an estate, but will also handle other matters such as probating a trust and making or defending wills. A probate lawyer’s primary focus is probating the estates of deceased persons without any valid testaments to distribute property.
What are typical attorney fees for probate?
It depends on the complexity of probate, but lawyers typically charge $500-5,000 to probate an estate.
How do you find a probate lawyer?
The first step is to contact your county courthouse and ask for information about probating wills without executors or intestacies. If this doesn’t work, then it might be best to work with an estate probate lawyer.
How long does probate take if there is a will?
A probate lawyer can typically probate the estate in one to three months.
How long does probate take without a will?
It could be anywhere from six months to two years depending on the complexity of probating an estate and how many beneficiaries there are for the deceased person’s property.
Is Probate a legal requirement?
No, probate is not a legal requirement.
Can I do probate myself?
Unfortunately, probate without an attorney is very difficult to navigate.
What are the most common probate issues?
The most common probate issue is a conflict of interest between estate beneficiaries and executors about what should be done with the deceased person’s assets.
How does probate work for small estates?
In some states, probate for small estates is relatively quick and easy.
What type of lawyer handles estate planning?
An estate attorney is the probate lawyer who handles probates, trusts and wills.
What should I do if my will looks like it has been tampered with?
If there are any suspicions of unfairness or fraud regarding an estate plan, consult a probate lawyer immediately.
Is estate planning the same as probate?
No, probate is the process of distributing a deceased person’s assets according to their will.
What happens once probate is granted?
Once probate is granted, the executor can take care of distributing a deceased person’s assets in accordance with their will.
Will banks release money without probate?
The probate process is necessary to release funds and assets that are in a deceased person’s bank account.
What should I do if my executor has died?
If your executor has passed on, it may be time for you to appoint new probate attorneys.
Can I sell a house before probate?
It may be possible to sell a house before probate, but it depends on the circumstances of the estate.
What if I don’t want to pursue probate?
If you do not want to go through probate court proceedings for your deceased relative’s assets, there are ways that can help avoid probate.
Why does a will go to probate?
A probate court must examine a will for validity and grant approval before the estate can be distributed to heirs.