When someone passes away, it’s left to the family to deal with their estate while they grieve. However, the good news is that you don’t have to go through the process alone. With help from an experienced lawyer for probate, you can rest assured the process goes smoothly with as little stress as possible. So what do probate lawyers do?
What’s a Probate Lawyer?
What does an estate lawyer do? A probate lawyer’s responsibilities include helping the executor of the estate and the beneficiaries navigate the process of distributing the estate and following the provisions of a will. Probate lawyers are responsible for collecting life insurance proceeds, assisting with paying debts, identifying estate assets, obtaining appraisals, managing the estate checking account, transferring assets, and more. Choosing a probate attorney is an essential part of estate planning to ensure these processes go smoothly.
What Happens During the Probate Process?
Once you know what probate lawyers do, it’s essential to understand more about the probate process, so you know what to expect. The first step in the process is for the executor to schedule a consultation appointment with the probate lawyer. The attorney will review everything and provide the necessary guidance for moving forward. If a trust is in place, probate can be avoided. However, if there isn’t a trust, the case goes to a probate court. The first hearing gives individuals a chance to contest the will or proposed division of assets. Legal notices are sent to beneficiaries and creditors, and a newspaper announcement must be published to alert anyone else who may be interested in the estate. The court then authorizes the executor to proceed.
During the probate process, it is critical to prove the will’s validity, pay debts, and pay taxes to ensure a smooth process with no penalties. Once these processes are complete, property and other assets can be distributed as instructed to the beneficiaries. Once the disbursements are complete, the estate is closed.
If you’re looking for an experienced lawyer for probate, contact us to schedule a consultation.