Is a Last Will and Testament Irrevocable?- Read this Lawyer’s Explanation
If you’ve experienced a death or accident that has resulted in the probate of your estate, you may be wondering whether it’s time to hire a probate and estate planning attorney. There are many good reasons for doing so. Probate affects many family relationships. It can affect a spouse’s share of a mortgage, her or his credit rating and, depending on where you live, it can even affect things like a person’s eligibility for certain types of licenses and jobs. A probate lawyer can help you understand the legalities of probate and determine what, if anything, may need to be done with your property during the period of probate.
Many people don’t realize how important it is to plan their estates in order to avoid probate. Probate can actually drag on for years, resulting in court appearances, more time away from loved ones, and increases in estate taxes. By keeping close ties to your estate, you can avoid probate and estate taxes while still enjoying greater financial comfort than if you didn’t do anything at all. A probate lawyer is well-versed in estate planning laws and regulations and can assist you with making decisions about your finances that could have a huge impact on your passing. In particular, probate can impact your life insurance and retirement accounts, estate planning and investments, and other assets.
Most people don’t like to think about dying, but probate and estate planning lawyers can help you work through the process with ease. The probate court system works by determining who will receive the assets in the decedent’s name, usually after a trial. If no one is chosen at random, then the court randomly chooses an alternate person to administer the decedent’s affairs. Some states also allow the court to appoint an individual to act as a trustee, which is essentially a legal guardian responsible for the care of the decedent’s assets. These appointments are referred to as guardianship.
The process of choosing a probate lawyer can be difficult, so it’s important to do some research into your local area to find a qualified attorney. You may want to start with your family and friends for recommendations, but remember that an attorney can handle cases that you may not have experience with, so it’s important to choose an experienced professional with a good track record. You can get started on your search for a probate and estate planning lawyer by asking for recommendations from any friends or family you know who have recently had a legal situation handled by a lawyer. You can also do a quick Internet search to find out the experience of a potential attorney. You can also request a referral from your local bar association.
You will also want to have a thorough discussion with your prospective probate and estate planning lawyer before you take your case, so there are no surprises once you hire them. Make sure you feel comfortable with him, as this will be a significant part of the case. Your attorney will need to understand the details of your loved ones’ estate plan in order to provide sound legal support.
Many people worry about the probate process, as it can be lengthy and confusing. Family and friends may have suggestions on how to minimize the length of the probate process, such as setting up a trust, revocating a will, making the decedent’s life beneficiaries, and more. You will need to discuss these options with your probate and estate litigation lawyer, as well as the steps involved with probate itself, such as hiring a probate lawyer, hiring an executor, and the other services they offer. This article should help you learn more about probate and estate litigation.