Posted on: 24 January 2020
If you have experienced the death of a parent, there is certainly grief and mourning that every son or daughter goes through. But if you have been named the executor of your parent's will, it will be up to you to go through the probate process. Probate attorneys offer a variety of services that can assist you through this process. The following are a few things you should be aware of.
They can help with conflict between siblings over the estate
If you have had a parent die and there is no spouse to inherit the estate, you may have an issue if there is more than one child that stands to inherit the estate. In other words, you have at least one sibling. If you are the executor of the will, there could be a challenge to the will, and this will mean hiring a probate lawyer, at least to understand the process and what can be done to mitigate the problem. However, distribution of assets that are to be shared by surviving children can be complex. This is usually the case when there is a business involved that cannot be sold easily or quickly.
They can help when assets cross state lines
The bulk of the laws regarding probate are at the state level, so if your parent had assets in a state other than the one he or she lived in, you should consult with an attorney. Things can get complicated quickly. Not only are the laws different, but there may be claims against the asset in another state that you are not aware of. For example, if the asset is a piece of real estate, it is possible that there is a lien on the property. This may lead to a separate probate process.
They don't need to do all of the probate work
Some attorneys offer a comprehensive package of services. This simply means that they will handle everything for you. Although this is convenient, it is also the most expensive way to go. Some lawyers will do specific legal tasks that are difficult for a non-lawyer, but there are many things that you can do yourself because it doesn't require a law degree. You only need the time to do this work. Examples of this include obtaining a copy of your parent's death certificate, filing your parent's final tax return, and filing your parent's will with the probate court. You can discuss what needs to be done with a probate lawyer and decide what you can do.
Only in the situation where a parent only left personal items of little value will you be able to avoid probate. Even if there is only a house, you will be going through the probate process, so you will likely need a probate attorney for a few of their services. At the very least, you should make an appointment for a consultation with probate law services.Share