A probate attorney is an experienced legal professional who guides people through the complicated process of disposing of a loved one’s estate. Depending upon your agreement with him and the extent of the case, a probate attorney might fill out and file paperwork with the probate courts, assist you with important financial documents, keep accurate records, and even attend court proceedings for important hearings. He makes sure that all of your wishes are granted and that your last wishes are carried out. In short, he is instrumental in seeing that all your wishes are fulfilled as they should be.
There are numerous reasons to hire a probate lawyer. Some of these reasons might include the avoidance of probate taxes, avoiding any heirs having their will set aside, avoiding creditors getting paid, avoiding outstanding debts, avoiding heirs having their inheritance garnished, and avoiding probate hearings in family estates. However, it is important that you make sure your loved ones’ estates are properly handled. This is where your lawyer comes in. The role of the probate lawyer in this process varies from case to case.
In some cases, the executor serves only as a representative for the decedent. If the executor is a close family member or an individual close to the decedent, then he can petition the court to appoint an executor to administer the estate. The court will then appoint an executor. However, if you do not appoint an executor and instead designate someone to serve in your decedent’s behalf, the executor must then comply with Probate Law. The appointment of an executor is required by Probate Law.
Once the appointment is made, the executor is required to submit a written statement to the court outlining his duties and responsibilities under the will. An inventory must then be completed, listing each item owned by the estate and its value at the date of the decedent’s death. The inventory must also list all material items which the executor is required to purchase at the time of the decedent’s death for the estate. In most cases, the probate court requires the executor to purchase material items from a bank so that taxes on them can be paid.
Another role of the probate lawyer in the probate process is to make sure any legitimate debts of the deceased owed to individuals before his or her death are paid. The executor may not have the knowledge to contact all debt holders to make payment. This is usually done by communicating with the lender to pay off any outstanding loans owed. However, the probate attorney can help in determining if there are any other means of debt payment available to the deceased. Such a process is referred to as debt settlement.
In the event that the probate process concludes with no cash remaining from the decedent’s estate, the court orders the Probate Court to sell any remaining property to pay off debts. If the deceased party had any real property, the Probate Court will order a bankruptcy trustee to sell any property held by the deceased party after it has been determined that all debts have been satisfied. At this point, the probate lawyer may continue to work on behalf of the estate, but the executor is not responsible for continuing the estate. He or she is also not entitled to receive any of the deceased party’s money during this time. However, if the assets are worth more than the debts, then the Probate Attorney can petition the court to allow distribution of the surplus cash to pay outstanding expenses.