Anyone who has lost a loved one knows the grief and sadness that comes with death. Dealing with a probate attorney and finalizing the legalities of a will may seem unimportant compared to losing a loved one, but the process needs to be followed carefully.
Whether you want to set up the administration of your own estate assets before death, or you’re dealing with the transfer of the property of a loved one who has passed, there are a few important questions to ask a probate attorney. These will ensure that you’re hiring the best-suited individual and following the state’s legal requirements.
Why Do You Need A Probate Attorney?
During the probate process, the validity of a deceased person’s will is analyzed and verified and an executor, also known as a personal representative is appointed. The term probate refers to various steps such as the verification process, the court where the issue is handled, and the distribution of the deceased’s assets.
The process can get complicated at times, in which case a probate attorney can be a valuable asset. A state-licensed probate attorney serves as an advisor for the executor and beneficiaries. Their day-to-day responsibilities may vary but their assistance is invaluable.
The role of a probate attorney includes, but is not limited to, settling disputes, the sale of the estate property, and distributing the assets of the deceased among the beneficiaries.
So, you’ve made the decision to hire a probate attorney, but have you considered the necessary questions to ask?
Questions To Ask Your Probate Attorney Before Hire
While each case is unique and will have its own specific points to consider, here are a few important questions to ask your (potential) probate attorney.
Do You Have Experience In Cases Similar To Mine?
The law can be complicated and executing an individual’s wishes may not always be straight forward. Asking your probate attorney about their experiences and whether or not they have dealt with a case like yours can increase your confidence significantly.
With more than 50 years of serving Coral Springs, our experience includes a variety of cases in several practice areas – including probate.
What Can I Expect From The Probate Process?
The probate process can vary in length of time, but generally, completion can take a few months to a year (or more). The main determining factors on this duration includes the number and type of assets and the state’s legal requirements.
Are There Any Potential Obstacles To Be Aware Of?
In most cases, the probate process is fairly straight forward. Especially if you have the help of a professional. But sometimes there can be a few issues that occur. One example is if family members challenge the validity of the will. These unforeseen instances are where a probate attorney can be especially helpful.
What Is The Documentation Process?
There are several documents that need to be completed and filed with the Probate Court during the probate process. If a will exists, then the original will and death certificate also need to be filed in court.
What Assets Are Subject To Probate?
Any property that was owned solely by the deceased is normally subject to probate, including a car and real estate. In many instances, shared property is also subject to probate. There are instances when probate is not necessary. For example, if the deceased co-owned assets with their spouse. These assets may be exempt from probate, if held as joint tenants or tenants by the entireties.
An attorney will be able to best advise on which assets need to go through probate, especially when it comes to retirement accounts, life insurance, and property that’s held in a living trust.
Get The Help That You Need
With the law offices of Gary I. Handin offering their legal experience, there’s no need to struggle through the probate process on your own. Call us at 954-796-9600 to find out how we can help you sail smoothly through the probate process.