Has Your Loved One Recently Passed Away? 4 Questions To Ask Before You Proceed Without A Probate Attorney
If your loved one has recently passed away, you may be in the process of dealing with the estate. Processing an estate can be a difficult thing to do, especially if you're trying to proceed without a probate lawyer. Chances are good that your loved one's estate will enter into probate. Once it does, it could be tied up for quite some time. Before you proceed without a probate attorney, here are four questions you should ask yourself.
Did Your Loved One Leave a Will?
One of the most important documents a person can have during their life is a will. That piece of paper is used by the courts to determine how an estate will be divided. When a person person passes away without a valid will, the courts determine that the person was intestate, which means the court determines how the estate is divided. If your loved one passed away without a valid will, it's crucial that you hire a probate attorney. They'll help ensure that your rights are protected.
Did Your Loved One Leave Significant Assets?
If your loved one left significant assets behind, a probate lawyer will help ensure that they're protected during the probate process. One problem with leaving considerable assets behind is that people can come out of the woodwork looking for an opportunity to cash in on the estate. Not only that, but family members can start battling over the assets, especially real estate assets. If your loved one did leave considerable assets, it's best to have a probate attorney in your corner. They can ensure that the assets are divided fairly, and according to the terms of the will – if there was one.
Did Your Loved One Leave Outstanding Debts?
Debts are another problem that can pop up during the probate process. Once someone passes away, creditors are contacted. In most cases, they'll attempt to get paid out of the proceeds from the estate. If there aren't enough assets to satisfy the debts, creditors may attempt to come after the next-of-kin for payment. If your loved one left a substantial amount of debt behind, you need to contact a probate attorney as soon as possible.
Did Your Loved One Leave Anyone in Charge?
If your loved one didn't designate anyone as the executor of the estate, you're going to need a probate attorney. Without an executor in place, the courts will choose one. Unfortunately, if you don't have a probate attorney to represent your interest, the courts may choose an executor who won't work to ensure that your loved one's wishes are met.
If your loved one has recently passed away, don't try to work through the probate court on your own. Talk to a probate attorney near you. They'll help protect your interest and ensure that your loved one's estate is handled properly.
Visit a site like http://valentineandvalentine.com for more help.