Updated on September 9, 2021
Probate Attorney: Who Should You Hire?
Probate Attorney provides legal guidance, assistance, and services relating to a person’s estate, which have already been finalized. With probate, an executor or administrator is selected, who holds all title to property owned by the deceased. Together, the executor and probate attorney assess that all debits and other assets are paid off and that the rest of the estate is distributed as directed or according to the wishes of the deceased. In short, an executor serves as the representative of the deceased. There are several types of probate law, including special circumstances, a general, limited liability, and more.
A probate attorney is an individual who performs a vital role in the administration of an estate. They are also frequently asked to mediate between the decedents and the other beneficiaries. While an executor works with the deceased, a probate lawyer works with the rest of the beneficiaries to ensure that their inheritance is properly allotted. Below are the top four reasons that you may need one.
The most common reason people need a probate attorney is to avoid estate taxes. Estate taxes are based on the current value of a person’s estate. If the value is higher than what was expected, or the tax burden has been increased, then the property will be subject to tax. This can be avoided by working with an attorney who is familiar with state probate laws. This will allow the client to rest assured that their loved ones are properly cared for, even if the value of their estate is not what was estimated, as long as it falls within the qualified range.
Another common reason people need a probate attorney is to settle inheritance taxes. Sometimes the executor does not get everything he or she is entitled to from the estate. In these cases, an experienced probate attorney will negotiate with the IRS to find a compromise that both parties can agree upon. This is often helpful in avoiding a large estate tax bill and can help someone retain some property.
Probate lawyers also play a major role when it comes to distributing estate assets. These include performing final appraisals in a timely manner. It is important to have one who will determine the value of a person’s estate so that creditors and family members do not become overburdened with debt. A probate attorney can also assist anyone who wishes to leave behind a legacy to charities. He or she can determine which charities will benefit from the proceeds and work with the family and loved ones to distribute the funds to the proper charity.
When a person dies, their property can be divided according to state probate laws. However, it is up to the appointed representative to make sure that all of the assets are distributed fairly. This means that if there is an imbalance of wealth or assets, it is the responsibility of the attorney to remedy the situation. If the probate court rules in favor of the deceased family, they will receive a large part of the inheritance. However, should they be in debt, they must seek the help of an attorney who will negotiate with creditors to pay off debts and then distribute the remaining assets to their designated charity. An experienced probate attorney will handle any discrepancies or misunderstandings that might occur during the distribution process.
Estate planning can be quite difficult when dealing with probate and having a qualified probate attorney on your side can make the whole process much easier. There are a few things that a good probate attorney will do for you, including preparing various forms for you to fill out if you are making a will, advising you about how to deal with debts and taxes, negotiating the transfer of property from beneficiaries, and more. There is also a term referred to as estate settlement which comes into play when you are selling estate property. This term refers to selling the property to pay off debts, and it is often handled by an attorney who specializes in probate.
In addition to these basic tasks, a probate attorney will also take care of hiring an appropriate real estate agent to assist in the transfer of properties to beneficiaries. Probate is extremely complex, so it is best to let someone who knows how to do it handle it for you. Smith said that having an experienced real estate agent to help you with the transition of your loved one’s estate is often the best thing to do. In the event that someone passes away, having a qualified professional who can help you fill out the required forms at the proper time can make the entire process much easier.