Anyone who’s building wealth must know the importance of securing the last will in case of a sudden demise. Not everyone thinks about who they can trust until they find themselves in a legal mess. For one thing, if you have many heirs, it’s important to understand how to file probate correctly, and to state which of your assets goes to whom, to avoid legal complications and ensure that the distribution of your assets goes smoothly.
What Is A Probate Lawyer?
Probate lawyers, also known as trust lawyer or estate lawyer, handle the testament of their deceased clients.
A probate lawyer works with the executors of the estate and with the heirs or beneficiaries. Affluent clients often seek probate lawyers’ counsel regarding asset protection and preparing documentation as the probate court mandates. If you find yourself needing to connect with an estate planner, you can find more information at https://www.milehighestateplanning.com/probate.
Responsibilities of A Probate Lawyer
Your probate lawyer is bound by law to serve your best interest. Getting the best lawyer should be a part of creating an estate plan. They’re your trusted ally that’ll protect your assets in the event of your death, and there’s no will left behind. They also challenge those who’ll contest the last will and may try to sue.
The following are also the other tasks of probate lawyers.
- The probate lawyer will collect or claim proceeds from the client’s insurance providers, which can include IRAs, 401Ks, and life insurance, among others
- Your lawyer will look into concerns regarding income taxes
- They’ll pay your bills and debts on your behalf
- Check and name all of the client’s assets
- Get a date-by-death appraisal on the decedent’s property or properties
- Handles the court permission request such as the sale of property
- Serve as the intermediary between the executor and the heirs, such as settling disputes
- Distributes other assets to the heirs aside from real property
- Oversees the estates checking account to determine estate or inheritance taxes
- Ensure the transfer of the estate to the names of the rightful heirs
- Make the disbursement of the estate proceeds after taxes and bills are paid
When To Call A Probate Lawyer
You may wonder if you actually need to call a probate lawyer. While some of these tasks can be done by the executor alone, some cases require a probate lawyer’s assistance, such as the following:
- Sometimes, the beneficiaries don’t get along to the point that the client’s personal representative gets involved.
- Ideally, if the wealthy client has large-scale assets, it would help if a professional walk the heirs through legal proceedings. The assets may include businesses and commercial properties.
- If the client leaves behind a debt, a probate lawyer must look into the debt amount against the value of the assets. In such cases, a probate lawyer must look into the state laws to see if the creditors will be given priority or not.
Handling the assets of the deceased often doesn’t require a probate lawyer. However, there are times that not everyone will agree with the contents of the will. A deceased client may also have incurred debt that must be paid off from the estate. When such complicated aspects become troublesome to someone who’s not entirely versed with the law, it’s the perfect time to hire a professional, such as a probate lawyer.
Interesting Related Article: “What Happens to Mortgage Payments During Probate?“