The passing of a loved one is a difficult time for everyone involved, particularly when there are legal matters that need handling, such as the administering of the deceased's assets. During this process, a probate attorney can be a valuable asset to your case. This article will discuss how to use a probate attorney after a relative passes away. After reading this guide, you'll understand the basics of a probate attorney's role, and you'll know how to find one.
Probate Attorney's Role
Firstly, it's important to understand what a probate attorney does. They specialize in settling the affairs of individuals who have passed away, mainly by ensuring their assets are distributed according to their wishes. Probate attorneys help with a range of things, including reviewing the will, locating and protecting assets, paying debts and taxes, preparing and filing tax returns, notifying beneficiaries, and much more. They ensure the executor follows the law and handles the probate process correctly, minimizing the chance of errors, such as failing to fulfill the wishes of the departed or disputes among heirs.
Hire a Probate Attorney
Now that you understand the importance of a probate attorney and what they do, it's time to hire one. An attorney can help you navigate the probate process, which can be complex and challenging to understand. You can start by asking your family, friends, and other counselors for recommendations. Additionally, you can research attorneys in your local area by conducting online searches and checking reviews and ratings to get a sense of their expertise and experience.
Once you've found a probate attorney, it's time to schedule a consultation with them. During this meeting, you'll discuss the probate process, your situation, and the attorney's approach to handling your case. You'll likely discuss fees during the consultation, so be sure to understand what you're signing up for before agreeing to engage them. Once you're happy with the attorney and all your questions are answered, you can sign a contract and officially hire them.
Once someone passes away, their assets must go through the probate process, which is simply the legal procedure for winding up one's estate. This process can take anywhere from a few months to a few years, depending on the complexity of the will and estate. Throughout this process, the attorney will represent the executor in court and use their expertise to help speed up the process and ensure the estate's assets are distributed correctly.
For more info, contact a local probate lawyer.