From identifying the assets of the estate and beneficiaries to disbursing the identified assets and inheritances, probate lawyers ensure that everything functions explicitly as per the state law and the deceased’s will.
What is a probate lawyer?
Probate is the legal process through which the will, assets, and belongings of the individual go through after the same person’s death. Moreover, a probate lawyer, a state-licensed attorney, or a trust lawyer has specialization in working with the executors. They also work with the beneficiaries of an estate so that one can settle the affairs of the deceased. Therefore, these lawyers are professional and experienced in assisting with any part of the probate process.
What are the responsibilities of a probate attorney?
Here mentioned are some everyday tasks with which a probate lawyer can assist the executor and beneficiaries during the probation process:
- To collect proceed from the life insurance policies of the deceased
- To identify and secure estate assets
- To obtain appraisals for the real property of the deceased
- To assist in the payment of outstanding bills and existing debts
- To prepare and file all documents that the probate court requires
- To evaluate the due estate or inheritance taxes and ensure proper settlement of all debts.
- To manage the checking account of the estate
- To resolve income tax issues
- To transfer assets in the name of the deceased to the appropriate beneficiaries
- To disburse the assets to the beneficiaries after the payment of all existing debts and bills.
What does a probate attorney do?
A probate lawyer assists with a range of tasks. However, what the probate lawyer does to settle the affairs of the deceased depends on the needs of the executor or administrator. A probate lawyer must know whether there was any will of the dead. Moreover, it also requires seeing the complication of the process, the legal challenges, and other difficulties.
How a probate attorney assists with a will?
If the deceased individual leaves a will, the probate attorney will typically begin by proving that the choice left behind is valid. Moreover, the lawyer also reviews the documents ensuring proper drafting.
The court determines the will invalid if:
- The testator (the person leaving the will) has not signed the choice according to the state laws, which also set forth requirements for the witnesses.
- The testator suffered from diminished mental capacity when drafting the will.
- The testator drafted the will under threat or pressure to succumb to another’s will.
- There was fraud in the execution of the will.
If someone contests the will, there is a recommendation to work with a probate lawyer specializing in handling lawsuits related to the descendant’s estate.
How a probate attorney assists with the estate?
It becomes easier to handle the estate with the presence of a will. However, state laws determine the estate’s distribution in case of the absence of the will. Therefore, in both cases, a probate attorney helps determine how someone must handle the deceased’s asset. Moreover, such lawyers have experience assisting with the necessary paperwork and distribution.
Some duties that a probate attorney might take include:
- Distributing necessary probate notice to the beneficiaries, heirs, and creditors.
- To communicate with beneficiaries or heirs, settle disputes, and also answer their questions
- To obtain the permission of the court for specific actions, including the sale of the property
- To assist with the sale of the deceased individual’s property
- To retitle real estate and other assets
- To locate and secure all assets like retirement plans
- To complete and file documents needed by the probate court
Now that probate is a complex process, working with the probate lawyer makes it easier to settle the will of the individual, especially when the deceased has a large estate. Moreover, a probate attorney is specifically helpful when the executor or administrator is required to deal with the legal complexities of certain situations, like the sale of the property owned by the deceased individual. Therefore, with a probate attorney’s help, the probate court filings can be done without errors, and accounting is handled correctly.