How to Choose the Best Lawyer for your Business
February 27, 2019
Why You Should Hire a Real Estate Lawyer
February 27, 2019

The Basics of Probate Law

Unfortunately, there comes a time in our life when someone we know or a loved one passes away. It’s important to celebrate their life and appreciate the time that we had to spend with them. When a loved one passes away, any property that was in their name must be legally transferred. This process is known as probate. It can be a challenging time for families and friends, especially because emotions are high, but it’s a task that must be handled. Hiring a great business attorney that is familiar with probate law is always a great idea. Let’s take a look at the basics of probate law below.

How does probate law typically work?

During the probate process, people typically deal with assets and debts that were left behind after someone passes away. Probate is a process that is supervised by the court, which means there are probate lawyers that can help with the entire proceedings. There are a few things that typically are handled during probate:

  • A will is deemed to be valid or invalid if it has been drawn up.
  • All debts and estate taxes for the deceased are settled.
  • Heirs and immediate relatives are identified.
  • The executor, administrator, or representative for the estate is identified.
  • All of the assets are totaled up and a value is established.

The last will and testament will be verified after a death certificate is filed and the will is legally filed with the court. A hearing then is held where the judge will ultimately determine if the will is indeed valid. Everyone will have an opportunity to object the will at this time if they are so inclined. Typically, if there are self-approving affidavits, which means that the decedent and the witness sign affidavits at the same time that the will is being signed. This will normally be sufficient for a judge to agree that the will is ok.

There are several benefits to the probate process. In some states, it’s actually required by state law. It allows the family to have everything settled in an official way that avoids any doubts about how the estate is divided up. The probate will find the answers that can make family quarrels arise. The cons of probate are that it can be a lengthy and expensive process. This can be difficult for family members who are ready to move on after a traumatic emotional experience. There are fees associated with probate that can add up quickly, particularly if the process is drawn out over several months.

Why hire a probate attorney?

Probate law is a very specialized form of law that requires an attorney who specifically has probate experience. You want to make sure the probate process goes as smoothly as possible so that you and your family can get back to living life to the fullest. If you need any help with an estate, conservatorship, guardianship, or probate related issues, contact a business lawyer for help.