The legality of an estate isn’t the first thing you want to think of after the death of a loved one. It’s also not something you want to think about while you’re alive.
Making sure you deliver on the wishes of your loved one is a great way to ease the grieving process. It’s also important for you to make sure your kids and grandkids are taken care of after you’re gone.
Whether you’re carrying on the memory of a loved one or planning an estate plan for yourself, a probate lawyer is a valuable service.
Estate planning is more than just preparing a will. Keep reading for the top 7 reasons why you should hire a probate lawyer.
1. You Need More Than Just a Will
Most people view wills as the lone document that determines an estate’s assets. They often use “will” and “estate plan” interchangeably. That’s not the case.
Estate plans are a set of legal documents that validate you or your loved ones will. Having a will is necessary for an estate plan. If you don’t have all of the necessary documents filed correctly, however, that will means nothing.
You also need to understand how probate works. Probate refers to reviewing a deceased individual’s assets and determining the heirs. This legal process can be implemented by the court with or without a will.
A probate lawyer will organize all the necessary documents so you can understand them easily and get your estate affairs in order. Your lawyer will also ensure that there are no missing details, information mistakes, tampering, or typographical errors in the estate forms and documents that may nullify your estate plan.
Read more here to find out why hiring a probate lawyer is the best option for your estate plan.
2. Avoid the Drama
Avoid the conundrum and convolution. Losing a loved one is a sensitive time for your family. Trying to divide your assets among your loved ones is a stressful prospect.
Individuals have their own sentimental reasons for wanting certain mementos. Heightened emotions can distract your family from supporting each other. You have your own reasons for passing on assets to certain individuals.
However, some families have personal conflicts, and family feuds may result if a loved one suddenly passes away with some issues associated with real estate, businesses, and other assets. In most cases, this holds true, especially if the deceased has a second family. Sometimes, even siblings have rivalries. Misunderstanding the deceased individual’s wishes can lead to arguments. You can prevent this problem by hiring an experienced probate lawyer.
With a probate lawyer, everything will be kept in place according to the deceased’s wishes. Hiring a probate lawyer whose area of expertise is mitigating the conflicts that arise in estate planning eliminates unneeded family stress.
From step 1 until its completion, you’ll have peace of mind.
Celebrate the life of your loved one. Don’t bicker over it. Don’t worry about whether your assets will end up in the wrong hands.
3. Accelerate the Process
Probating an estate can take up to a year. Hiring a probate lawyer will expedite the process. Though probating an estate never takes less than three or four months, you want it to be as quick and painless as possible.
Probate lawyers assist you from start to finish. They will walk you through step by step and make sure the estate is finalized and closed with the court.
Because a probate lawyer understands the changes in probate law, you’ll have peace of mind that the process follows the proper legal guidelines and timelines. This way, you can fulfill your deceased loved one’s wishes without worrying about any legal issues associated with the probate process.
4. Prevent Claims Against the Estate
You may be thinking, “I can just write my will myself. How hard can it be?” As with any legal document, it’s not that it’s terribly difficult to write. The problem is that minor differences have major consequences.
In estate cases, one absent detail may result in a lawsuit.
Maybe someone who is left out of the will feels like they should be included? Maybe a beneficiary feels they deserve more compensation than they’re entitled to?
Even though they are your friends and family, nothing is more sensitive than the surviving materials of a loved one, especially if it involves finances.
5. Prevent Stalling or Rejection
Probating an estate requires you to submit a lot of government documents. These documents must be filled out meticulously or else the court will reject them. Legal verbiage is complex and the effects of poor usage can render documents invalid.
An estate plan is not something that can be revisited. You only get one shot to get it right. If you miss your target, there’s no turning back. There are no redos.
You don’t want the threat of guilt weighing on your conscience in a time of grief. Hire a probate lawyer and leave the tedium to the professional. It will save you time and it will save you stress.
If you’re creating your own estate plan, it’s important to have a professional who’s keeping up with changes in laws. It’s also important for you to have an outlet to turn to when life changes occur.
If you have radical life changes such as a big move, or financial changes, you’ll want a professional there to assist you.
6. Avoid Liability
Dealing with the finances of a deceased loved one can have legal implications that you’ll want to avoid. Do all of their assets need probating? Who in the family has to be notified of the probating process?
If you’re in charge of probating an estate and you do it incorrectly, you could take the blame.
Unfortunately, probating estates can get ugly. Often times what could have been resolved easily winds up being dragged out in court.
Having a probate attorney arbitrate the complex and tedious aspects of an estate plan takes the pressure off of you and your family. Most importantly, they know the law. mistakes won’t be made that lead to lawsuits.
7. Avoid Overpaying
While probating an estate, a common mistake is that you wind up overpaying. You can also underpay or pay to incorrect parties.
Court costs, added professional fees, and exorbitant taxes add up quickly when you try and organize an estate plan on your own. Most probate attorneys use a flat rate. This aids in the long-term costs of an estate plan.
You may be dealing with an estate plan that involves debt. Creditors usually have confusing documents that are difficult to read. Filling out these documents is a nightmare you’ll want to avoid.
A probate lawyer will also advise you on how to deal with debt in the most thorough, painless way possible. Your probate attorney can assist you and your creditors settle debt, as well as other financial and legal issues. Knowing that a legal expert manages everything without overpaying or underpaying legal expenses can give you peace of mind.
Hire a Probate Lawyer for Your’s and Your Family’s Sake
Nobody wants to think about who’s going to get what after someone dies. But that’s an inevitable part of life. Deal with legal issues as painless as possible. Don’t shove them aside.
Hire a probate lawyer so that you’ll be able to reflect on all of the good memories. There’s nothing worse than going through a death in the family and adding legal issues.
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