The death of a loved one often triggers a cascade of financial, legal and familial tasks that need to be dealt with promptly. This is particularly true if you have been designated the executor of their will or are trying to settle the estate in a state where you do not reside. In these cases, it is often best to seek professional help in order to avoid costly mistakes and ensure all deadlines are met. That’s where a Probate Attorney can help.
Probate is the process of legally settling an individual’s estate after their death and distributing their assets to their heirs and beneficiaries. While many people have a will that provides instructions on how their assets should be distributed, the probate process can get complicated and difficult even if there is a valid will. This is why it is important to hire a knowledgeable New York Probate Attorney to assist you in the process.
In most cases, a probate attorney will either represent the estate executor or one or more of the estate’s beneficiaries. This will depend on whether the deceased person had a will or trust, how complex their estate is, and if there are any legal challenges from creditors or beneficiaries. A probate lawyer can take on a wide range of duties, including applying for a grant of probate, locating and securing estate assets, helping with tax elections and filings, obtaining appraisals of estate property, settling any outstanding debts against the estate, facilitating the sale of estate property, and overseeing the distribution of the estate’s remaining assets to the heirs.
Depending on the complexity of an estate and the number of beneficiaries, a New York Probate Attorney may charge either a flat fee or a percentage of the estate value. It is important to know how your probate lawyer charges in advance, so you can plan accordingly. For example, do they charge hourly or on a retainer? This will affect how much you are paying for their services and also how quickly they can get the job done.
Aside from navigating the legal aspects of probate, a New York Probate Attorney will also be able to help you stay on track with the timeline set out in the deceased person’s will. This is essential, as if you miss any deadlines, it can significantly delay the completion of the estate and could potentially cost you valuable assets in the process. They can also help keep family members in line and prevent conflicts as they divide the inheritance. This can be particularly helpful if there are contentious relationships between heirs or the estate executor is being accused of abusing his or her fiduciary duty. They will be able to provide mediation and/or arbitration services to keep everyone calm and happy. They will also be able to advise you on any issues that might arise during the probate process, such as when beneficiaries are disputing an aspect of the will.