When a loved one passes away, family members must cope with both emotional and logistical challenges. Emotional issues include grief and sadness, while legal concerns involve settling their loved one’s estate. In some instances, families need to hire a probate attorney to help navigate the process. The role of a probate lawyer is to work with the executors and beneficiaries of an estate to settle affairs and transfer property outside of probate court.
A New York probate attorney can help heirs and beneficiaries understand their rights and obligations under state law. They can help distribute assets based on inheritance laws, ensure that tax returns are filed, and assist with filing claims. In addition, they can also help the estate pay debts and manage assets to avoid litigation. They may also have the authority to file a lawsuit on behalf of an estate.
Whether or not a family needs a probate attorney depends on a variety of factors, including how comfortable they are navigating probate and how complicated their state laws are. The size of the estate is another factor to consider, as large estates can be complex and expensive to settle. Having a trust in place can also make a big difference and help families avoid probate altogether.
When choosing a probate lawyer, it is important to find out how long they expect the case to take and what their fees will be. Some attorneys charge a flat fee, others will bill by the hour, and still others may use a percentage of the estate value to determine their charges. It is also a good idea to ask how much experience they have with estate settlements.
Another benefit of hiring a probate attorney is that they can help reduce conflicts between family members over inheritance. Disputes often arise during the estate settlement process because heirs and beneficiaries are eager to receive their share of the estate. The attorney can provide an impartial perspective and help settle disputes before they escalate.
A probate attorney can help you prepare your estate plan and create a trust to avoid probate. They can also review existing documents and amend them if necessary. The goal of estate planning is to make the process of transferring assets after death as smooth and efficient as possible.
Lamson & Cutner, PC, serves clients throughout New York City and specializes in probate law. Their team helps clients with filing a petition to open and close an estate, and they can also assist with matters like asset distribution or inventory, and estate or will administration. The firm has been in business since 1984, and its team also assists with pay-on-death financial account setup, and estate provisions. They also litigate cases involving creditor claims, conservatorships and guardianships, and valuation and distribution of property.