Probate is the legal process that begins when a person dies. Since probate is a long and complicated process, there are several cases where hiring a probate lawyer is necessary. Let’s dive in!
What Is Probate?
The probate process begins when an individual petitions the court after someone dies. Once the court is petitioned, the first step in the process is to validate the will and appoint an executor. The executor is given legal rights to manage all the deceased’s property, belongings, and financial assets. The executor pays off all debts, then distributes the remaining assets as outlined according to the will.
If there is no will, the court will appoint an executor to handle the process. They will typically follow the laws of the state in which the deceased resided. The entire probate process encompasses the following steps:
- Validating the will of the deceased party
- Appointment of an executor, conservator, or trustee
- Gathering all assets and creating value for the estate
- Paying off any valid estate taxes and debts
- Identifying all heirs or beneficiaries and distributing the remaining assets
When Do I Need a Probate Lawyer?
There are several circumstances when having a probate attorney is necessary. If you do not understand the legal process or the terms listed in the will, having an attorney on hand is an excellent idea. Hiring a probate attorney to represent you if you are the heir or beneficiary of a rather large estate is also vital. Probate lawyers are also used when someone wants to contest a will or argue its validity. Finally, many people hire a probate attorney during the planning and drafting their will and estate plan.
What Is the Cost of a Probate Attorney?
Probate attorney fees vary depending on several factors, including their experience, the unique circumstances of your case, the size of the estate, and the legal requirements of the probate process. In most cases, probate attorneys charge a flat rate to handle your estate. Still, some charge a percentage of the estate value or on an hourly basis. Talk to your attorney before you hire them to understand the specific cost involved with their services. Most reliable probate attorneys will provide you a free consultation to discuss your case.
How Long Does the Probate Process Take to Complete?
Generally, if the case is simple and straightforward, probate can be handled in a few weeks. For more complicated cases, probate can last for years. Specific issues can extend the process, such as when there are outstanding debts and taxes, beneficiary disputes, the size of the estate, and the laws of the state in which the deceased resided. There are certain rules and regulations that vary from state to state but need to be strictly followed.
Contact Ensberg Law Group for a Reliable Probate Lawyer
If you need to talk to a reliable Glendora probate lawyer about your case, we’re here to help. Contact Ensberg Law Group to schedule a free consultation!