Probate is one of the most important aspects of estate planning. Probate is the court process that occurs after someone dies whereby a will is validated. It is governed by specific state laws, but each county’s probate courts may also have their own specific guidelines. An estate planning attorney can help you to understand these laws.
First Steps to Probate a Will
The first step in how to probate a will is to determine its validity. While only a final ruling from a probate court can truly establish that a will is valid, an estate planning attorney can advise you on how to create a valid will for your state.
It must be remembered, though, that no two estates are alike, and what may be a valid will in one state may be invalid in another.
A bequest must contain specific language describing who receives assets, how they will be divided, and when the assets will be distributed. If statutory requirements are not met, the will could be held invalid when submitted to the probate court.
If the will does not comply with applicable state law, then it could be held invalid by a probate court. Once the will has been validated at a probate hearing, the executor or estate administrator can distribute the assets according to the will.
There are certain limitations to this process which vary from state to state. Anyone wishing to make sure their estate will be probated properly should consult with an estate planning attorney.
If you know you will be required to pay taxes, inheritance taxes, or property taxes, you may wish to discuss this with an estate planning attorney.
A probate attorney may also be able to suggest alternative methods to pay for these burdens. Another concern that you must address when you file for probate is who will be named as a beneficiary of your estate. It is important to very clearly define who will inherit your estate.
There are several other reasons why you should consult an estate planning attorney. First, probate law can create several problems that can adversely affect your beneficiaries.
Second, you may have some assets that are exempt from probate, while others are not. State law can specify what type of debts are exempt and which debts cannot be discharged by the will.
Probate can be a difficult and time-consuming process. An executor or estate administrator’s right to manage an estate begins only after the death of person who made the will (commonly called a “testator”), and the admission of the will to probate.
In some cases, the executor or estate administrator must be formally appointed by the probate court before taking any action.
Some states allow wills to be filed with the county clerk or the probate court before the testator’s death, while others do not.
The person filing the will has the choice to appoint an attorney to act on their behalf or do it themselves. There are ways to make the process faster and reduce the stress of the probate proceedings.
Lawyer for Estate Planning and to Probate a Will
Hiring a probate lawyer is one way to expedite the estate planning process. Some companies offer their clients financial planning services at no cost, which may include consultation with an estate planning attorney. It is preferable to work with an estate planning lawyer who has experience in these issues.
When hiring an estate lawyer, it is important to do some research to find the best attorney to handle the drafting of your will.. Ask questions about their experience and qualifications for your situation.
If possible, talk to prior clients who have used their services before. Prior clients will be able to tell you if this particular lawyer made the right choices for them and if they felt comfortable and secured with their decision.
Be sure to discuss your particular situation and concerns with the attorney before he takes on your case.
There are several methods that a client can use to hire an estate lawyer. It can be difficult knowing what to look for, especially if you are not familiar with the field.
Estate planning is one of the most important decisions you will ever make. Probate can be filled with stressful situations for anyone.. When it comes to wills, it is important to remember that the decision is ultimately up to the testator.
A good way to determine who will best serve your needs is to interview a few different estate planning attorneys. Ask questions about their experience, qualifications, and opinions regarding past cases similar to your particular circumstances.
Don’t be afraid to ask tough questions; you want to be sure you are using someone who has your best interest at heart.
Hiring a probate lawyer does not have to be difficult. However, it does require some research and due diligence.
Consider choosing a qualified attorney with a good track record. Take your time and gather as many details as you can.
What if You Don’t Probate a Will?
There are many issues that could occur if a will is never admitted to probate. One problem is trying to figure out what debts are actually owed by the estate, which entails ascertaining the creditors off the estate and then determining the amounts owed to each one.
Another potential problem can arise if bequests in the will are unclear as to who should receive the property or unclear as to the description of the property.
Sometimes, even rightful beneficiaries with a valid will can still have a difficult time getting everything settled.
This is why many people hire a probate lawyer to handle the estate’s affairs once the person dies.
Sometimes people die with outstanding tax obligations, which can lead to the state involvement in the probate, and this can be very frustrating for everyone involved.
Even if you don’t have any beneficiaries, a valid will can ensure that your final wishes can be legally handled.
There are many other issues to consider if you don’t already have a will, but if you do and want to ensure that everything is handled properly, this consultation with an estate attorney is a good idea. It is prudent to err on the side of caution and ensure that your last wishes are all followed.
This is why it is important to hire an estate planning attorney.
This type of attorney will give you options. Having options will enable you to navigate smoothly through this time in your life. Contact a lawyer today.
*Comments provided in this blog post are for informational purposes only and should not be construed as financial, legal or tax advice, recommendations or solicitations.
Please consult your financial, legal or tax professional with questions related to the information presented, or for advice as to whether a life settlement is right for you.