Probate Attorneys – Why You Need One

When someone passes away, issues with their estate and property can arise. This is when a probate attorney should be called upon to help.

Probate Attorneys

Probate Attorneys Los Angeles have the skills and knowledge to handle all of the necessary legal matters during this difficult time. Here are some reasons to hire one: They help to avoid needless family conflict.

As the death of a loved one comes closer, it’s likely you will hear some people say, “Do I really need a probate attorney?” The answer is a qualified “yes,” especially if your loved one passed away without a will. In these instances, the estate must be settled according to state inheritance laws. This can be complicated and often involves settling debts, determining tax liabilities and distributing assets amongst beneficiaries.

Many of these tasks can be performed by a nominated executor. However, since they are legally responsible for carrying out their duties, any mistakes could leave them liable. For example, an uninformed move to list a deceased person’s home for sale without the go-ahead from the probate court can be seen as fraudulent activity. Having a probate attorney can help you avoid these types of mistakes and keep the executor and administrators accountable to their fiduciary duties.

In addition to helping with the administrative duties, a lawyer can also assist with any litigation services that might be necessary. This includes contested wills, contested accountings, kinship hearings, relief against fiduciary and spousal elective share disputes. Many of these issues can be complicated and require legal guidance to resolve.

One way to help avoid probate is to set up a trust with the proper language and structure. A probate attorney can help you do this in a way that makes sense for your situation and will be valid under law. While this may not completely avoid probate, it will greatly reduce the amount of time and hassle that goes into settling an estate.

Another thing that a probate attorney can do for you is to prepare the legal documents that are needed for probate. Then they will file these with the court and serve as the executor of the estate or administrator if no one else is appointed to this role. They can also help you with any other estate planning needs, such as preparing incapacity or Medicaid planning documents. Most attorneys offer a full range of services or a la carte options so that you can choose the level of assistance you need.

They Help You Navigate the Court System

A probate attorney can provide a wide range of services, including preparing and filing all petitions, determining date of death values for property, locating and securing estate assets, collecting life insurance proceeds, identifying and valuing personal property, assisting with the sale of real estate, tax elections and filings, defending against creditor claims in the estate, ensuring that beneficiaries are included in the estate papers, obtaining death certificates, advising and counseling the administrator or executor of an estate and more. Probate attorneys can also help their clients stay on top of all expenses associated with the estate by providing them with accurate documents of fees and costs.

Another important aspect of a probate lawyer’s job is to act as mediator in the case when disputes arise between the beneficiaries, creditors or executor of an estate. These conflicts may stem from disagreements over the interpretation of the will or distribution of property, a failure to file required paperwork on time or other technical errors, or a breach of fiduciary duty. A skilled probate attorney can help settle these disputes and move the process along as quickly as possible.

Probate attorneys can even take on the role of litigator in contested cases. This is particularly true when there is a will contest or a dispute over the validity of a trust. In these cases, a knowledgeable and experienced probate attorney can make all the difference in achieving the best results for their client.

In addition, a probate attorney can also assist their clients by helping them set up an estate plan to avoid the need for probate in the future. An effective estate plan can include provisions for avoiding probate, reducing taxes and minimizing family disputes after death. A probate attorney can help create an estate plan that meets the specific needs of their clients. They can also advise on alternative forms of ownership for property, such as joint tenancy with right of survivorship or tenancy by the entirety, which provide some of the benefits of probate without the need for court proceedings.

They Help You Protect Your Assets

Probate is the legal process through which a deceased person’s estate is settled. It involves gathering, identifying, and appraising all assets in the estate and ensuring that taxes and debts are paid before closing the estate. While this is a vital process, it’s not without its challenges. This is especially true when it comes to large, valuable assets or complex financial and legal situations. A probate professional is a great asset in these cases because they have the experience and knowledge to handle these types of situations.

A probate attorney is not just there to help you during the probate process – they can also be an invaluable resource for estate planning purposes as well. They can help you create a comprehensive plan to protect your assets and provide for your loved ones after you pass away. This includes a variety of different strategies, all of which are tailored to your specific situation and goals.

To get started, a probate attorney can help you determine which assets are part of your estate. This can include all of your individual bank accounts, real estate, life insurance policies, stocks and bonds, and even cash. It can also include assets that aren’t necessarily solely owned by you, such as a home you own in joint tenancy with another person or community property with right of survivorship (available to married couples).

After this, your attorney can help you identify and appraise all the assets of the estate. This includes the value of all assets, as well as any liens or judgments that may be outstanding against the estate. If there are outstanding debts, your attorney can work with the court to have those debts paid using funds from the estate. This is important, because unpaid debts can sometimes force the sale of assets intended for heirs and beneficiaries.

Finally, your probate attorney can help you understand your state’s laws and regulations regarding inheritance and trusts. They can also ensure that your estate plan is in compliance with the law. This is crucial, as many states have very complicated rules when it comes to intestate succession.

They Help You Protect Your Family

A probate attorney will help ensure that the proper heirs are notified about the estate and receive their inheritance. He or she will also ensure that the deceased’s debts and taxes are paid and that all assets are distributed legally.

When someone dies, they typically leave behind a complicated legal and financial mess. Many of these issues can be avoided with the use of trusts and careful planning. However, this is not always possible and sometimes the surviving family members must go through the probate process to settle an estate. It can be incredibly challenging and stressful to deal with these matters while still grieving and dealing with family issues.

Having a skilled probate attorney to work with can make the process much easier and less stressful for everyone involved. The best way to find a probate lawyer is to ask friends and family for recommendations. You should also read online reviews and schedule a consultation to meet with several attorneys and determine which one would be the best fit for your case.

You should also discuss fees with each prospective attorney. They may charge an hourly rate or a flat fee for the entire probate process. It is important to understand how these fees will be calculated, especially if the attorney will be charging you a percentage of the total estate or based on an hourly rate.

In some cases, probate can take years to complete. This can be due to a variety of factors, such as contested wills and unpaid debts. A probate attorney will be able to speed up the process and ensure that all of the heirs receive their inheritance in a timely manner.