As the name suggests, probate lawyers handle the last leg of estate planning. Probate is the process by which the court validates a will. The will is the last living testament that you leave behind for your beneficiaries. This document allocates your assets to designated people as per your wishes. The probate validates the Will. There is a process that needs to be followed and it is long and expensive. The outcome is that your heirs get their inheritance without any shadow of doubt in a legal manner.
Why Do You Need A Probate Expert In The Estate Planning Process
Once you have applied for probate, you will need the help of a probate expert to help you through the complex process. Every state has a slightly different process. Only a person who follows laws and trends closely can optimize the process to save legal and tax hassles. A probate expert needs not only a legal background but also an expertise in accounting systems. The probate process is best left to professionals who know their business well.
Contracts Are A Part Of Estate Planning
You have written a Will, but there are things that are left over for the probate attorney. There are many disclaimers and deeds that are to be prepared during the probate to honor your last wishes. These are necessary to help your legal heirs to get their inheritance in totality and arrange the estate properly.
The most relevant example would be if a property was left to two siblings and one wanted the other to buy her out, a sale deed and agreement is needed. You will need the help of an estate planning attorney to look after the paperwork. The contract hence becomes an integral part of the probate.
If you are leaving behind a business that is in your name, the procedure becomes even more complex. The assets generate revenue and need daily supervision. There are many parts to look after. Business has contracts, vendors, and a cash flow that needs to be looked after during the probate.
Resolving Familial Conflicts
The death of a loved one is a matter of grief. But, many a time even at this time families get into conflicts regarding the inheritance. The disputes are often strong enough to reach the courts. You then need a lawyer to iron out the issues and restore harmony in the family.
A family member may happen to contest the will as he/she deems it unfair. This is especially true if you have been remarried and have children with two different spouses. The inheritance may be tricky and you will need a lawyer to represent the heirs in court and help resolve any acrimony regarding the estate. It is a better idea to involve a lawyer before things get bad within the family and avoid a full-fledged legal battle.
The Role Of The Court In Estate Planning
Estate proceedings may require your legal heirs to go to court too. There might be a case where the will or trust is not drafted with clarity. Your heirs will need expert help to decode the documents and represent them in court. The interpretation of the will is often a little murky and may need the help of a lawyer to help your heirs achieve control over their allocated assets. The legal aspects of the will may make the probate process protracted and complicated. It helps if the estate is planned by an attorney. But, if that is not so, a probate expert’s help is necessary for avoiding a complicated probate process.
Your heirs may not be happy with the will and may decide to contest it. If the situation does arise it may require legal representation in the court. This situation may also present itself if the estate is insolvent and does not have enough funds to pay off creditors and inheritance tax. Creditors may file claims and send legal notices to your heirs. These issues need a probate lawyer to resolve. It can become a long drawn process if you do not take immediate steps.
Hiring a professional estate planning lawyer is a good idea as this may help you reduce costs in the long run. There are many steps in the probate process that you cannot hope to navigate on your own. It is always cheaper in the long run in terms of money and legal notices to get a professional to guide you.