Having been left incharge of a deceased person’s real estate could make you end up in the hands of a probate lawyer. You take this step because you want an official and legal procedure toward awarding the beneficiaries what they deserve.
Much could be going on in your mind during this period. You could think about what to expect from the wills lawyer and the entire probate process. Indeed, handling estate planning issues is not easy.
When you decide to engage estate planning attorneys, every detail matters. Usually, probate helps to authorize your will by guaranteeing that the bereaved one’s property goes to the right people.
What’s All About Probate?
Generally, probate entails the court-based procedure of managing a person’s estate matters once they’re gone. This is a legal procedure that a deceased’s will pass through to establish its validity. It happens before a property gets distributed to its beneficiaries.
The process may often work differently for different states. But, it all begins with the testator or will writer identifying an executor in the will. The executor then takes over the crucial role of overseeing the will moving through the entire probate process.
Hence, your case will be dealt with based on the probate laws in your state. So, when approaching the probate process, the important things that matter include:
- The status of the written will
- The titling of the asset
- The value of the assets
In summary, the probate process involves the following:
- Authorizing your Will
- Appointing your executor
- Payment for any pending bills and taxes
- Determining your assets
- Distributing the assets to the beneficiaries.
Usually, those who inherit from the stated will are the beneficiaries. But, if there’s no written will, the estate planning attorneys can help you through the necessary processes. So, what should you expect when you decide to involve a probate lawyer?
What Will the Probate Lawyer Do?
It helps to know that the probate attorney is not a general practicing lawyer. Instead, the special needs planning lawyer focuses on estate administration matters.
A probate lawyer is highly experienced in the entire probate process. They have a deeper understanding of everything that revolves around the matter. That’s why they can walk you smoothly through every step of the way.
As soon as you involve the special needs planning lawyer, they will do the following:
- Finalize the filing of any necessary paperwork regarding the court
- Plan for the service of all the involved parties
- Advise you on every crucial step
- Lead you through every essential court procedure.
- They can direct the executor on how to represent in the estate matters once they’ve been appointed.
What to Expect from a Probate Lawyer’s Overall Service Representation
If you decide to hire a probate attorney for a service representation model, it implies that you have given them the liberty to assist you in doing the following:
- Identifying the estate assets
- Gathering the assets identified
- Filing the final estate’s income and tax returns
- Executing the payment of bills
- Conducting the final distributions to beneficiaries.
You can often decide to do many of these tasks alone without professional assistance according to expert probate lawyers in Orange county. When dealing with the matters on your own, you can proceed to contact banks and identify and gather every asset, and also initiate the transfer processes. However, keep in mind that it may not be easy on your part.
Once you’re bereaved of your loved one who left property behind, you don’t want any more terrifying processes. You want simplified legal procedures. You’re looking to avoid any challenges and frustrations when working towards estate planning and its final award to the beneficiaries.
So, whether or not there’s a will that the deceased had written, you don’t have to struggle hard to ensure an equitable property distribution to those left behind.
Indeed, the probate lawyers affirm that you don’t have to face the frustrations of independently navigating the legal and financial procedures. Usually, if your beloved who passed away had not formulated an estate plan, your estate planning attorneys will help you through the probate procedures.
Working without a wills lawyer may be an overwhelming moment full of long and costlier court processes. The probate lawyers in Orange county state that experienced estate planning professionals help comprehensively in the court-supervised procedure.
They do all they can to ensure you have a quick lawful transfer of the deceased’s assets to the names of the legal beneficiaries.
Some important things the probate lawyer does are:
- Uses the Grant of Probate to prove the will’s legality
- Appoint an administrator to manage the estate if there’s no will or if there’s a will but there’s no executor.
- Deal with aspects of the estate property’s inventory and appraisal
- Take charge of the payment of any debts that revolve around the property
- Finalize the estate’s distribution as stated in the will
- Handle estate planning using state law. This is in the case that there was no written will.
What Should You Expect from a Probate Lawyer’s Full Representation
This is the most common way to handle a probate process. It’s where you turn over to an experienced wills lawyer for their full intervention. But, once you let the lawyer take full charge of your case, it doesn’t mean you now lie back and relax.
The attorney will need you to:
- Gather and secure every important asset
- Pay all the necessary bills
- Help in taking the inventory
But what beats the whole feeling is that you get to rest secure knowing that you’re in the hands of a legal expert. The professional will help you handle all the court-related duties, which in probate implies preparing and filing all paperwork.
At this point, the probate lawyer will do the following:
- Order the certified copies of the death certificate
- Present the original will and codicils (if available) to the right probate court
- Formulate an inventory of the estate property
- Oversee the property’s appraisal based on its value (if necessary)
- Execute the filing of any other essential document belonging to the deceased person
What Should You Expect from a Probate Lawyer’s Limited Representation?
If you decide that you also have the time to handle part of the estate tasks, you need to agree with your estate planning lawyer. Here, you’ll agree on what tasks you should take hold of and what you should leave to the lawyers.
The professional will also let you know what you can expect amidst the execution of the particular tasks. This will help create order and also help prevent wasted efforts by not handling important duties as they should be.
During your first meeting with the wills lawyer, expect them to ask you for details about the following:
- The deceased’s assets
And it helps if you also ask the lawyer some questions. This will allow you to play your part successfully. You can ask them to let you know what you’ll be expected to do as the executor.
Do not forget any other questions about your loved one’s estate planning and the entire probate process. This will enable you to specify your agreements with the probate lawyer. Hence, they can include only those tasks you will require help with. As a result, you also manage to save on extra costs.
It’s crucial to find the right estate planning lawyer to handle your probate case or perhaps coach you on how to play your part in the process. Working with an excellent probate lawyer is important.
In fact, it will make a real difference in easing the probate experience for you. But remember that it takes the successful effort of both you and the attorney to make things work best.
Whatever the agreement and arrangement with the lawyer, ensure you provide every information and document the probate attorney needs. Failure to do this may delay the case.
If you wish to undertake the primary responsibilities towards the probate process, you can let the probate lawyer give you limited legal help. In such an instance, ensure that you clearly understand your roles.
Do not fear asking the lawyer anything you’re unsure of. And always seek your attorney’s legal advice before you take any action. You can put your agreement with the lawyer in writing.
But, in most cases, you may feel that you’re not ready to go through the overwhelming process yourself. Or, you may want to rest secure under the hands of a legal professional handling all the aspects of your probate case.
In such an instance, you let the attorney take the full representation of the probate process. No matter how you opt to go about the probate process, ensure you have a harmonious working relationship with the lawyer. This will ease the estate planning procedure and guarantee that everything works out for your ultimate good!