If someone in your family has passed away, a probate attorney may be able to help you settle some of your outstanding debts. Probate is the process where your deceased loved one’s property is distributed to the heirs that are entitled to it, following the death of the person. The goal is to avoid any confusion with the outstanding debt and other liens that could come from the assets that are left behind. There are many aspects of probate that are hard to understand for people without experience, so a good probate lawyer can explain it in layman’s terms.
A probate court will determine who is entitled to the deceased person’s property. If there was a Will, the executor or administrator will become the appointed legal representative for the decedent’s estate. In some cases, a person can designate another individual as the legal representative in the event they cannot do so due to illness, death or disability. The person who is designated to be the executor must fill out an estate plan, set up bank accounts, get insurance policies in place and sign a legal statement.
Even if someone has not been named as the legal representative, they can still be involved in the entire probate process. They can object to certain actions or decisions that the court may take or even decide to sell some of the decedent’s assets. This can be extremely stressful for the loved one that has passed away, especially if they were properly laid-off or had their wages reduced. For this reason, the probate attorney needs to ensure that everything is handled appropriately.
Most people are not familiar with the entire process, which can leave them unsure about what they should do next. One thing that the probate attorney will do is to review the legal documents that have been prepared after someone has passed away. They will then be able to better assist in the estate planning process. Some people have their remains sent to a funeral home or crematory, while others simply leave everything to the state. It is important that everyone follows the directions set forth in the will, or else there could be problems down the road.
There will also be situations where the personal representative may appear at court hearings and make requests. It will all depend on what happens with the other beneficiaries of the decedent’s estate, as well as how large the estate is. Court hearings are usually a very stressful situation for everyone, but the probate attorney needs to make sure that they are helpful and follow what the laws say. If a large amount of money has been allotted for the funeral and burial expenses, the personal representative may have authority to settle those claims before the next step of the probate process takes place.
Choosing to work with a probate attorney can be an extremely difficult decision. There are many questions that need to be answered and it can be overwhelming for someone who doesn’t know how to get help. Probate law is complicated, so someone needs to have a plan of action for how they are going to handle the situation when they aren’t present. A good lawyer can explain everything clearly and make decisions about your future with the rest of the family members following through after the process is complete.