Posted on: 28 October 2020Share
If you have recently lost a parent who had assets, you need to know that even with a will, your parent's estate needs to go through the probate process. This is a legal process where a judge will look at the deceased assets and liabilities to make sure all outstanding debts are paid, and the remaining wealth is transferred to the proper heirs. You can do this yourself, but the following are a few reasons to hire a probate attorney.
1. It will otherwise take up too much of your time
There is a lot of work involved during the probate process. You need to gather many documents, and some of this will entail traveling. Things such as getting a copy of the death certificate and filing numerous forms with the court take footwork. This work is time-consuming and tedious. Even if you were willing to go through the laborious process of doing the work, you may not have the time. A probate lawyer will gather necessary documents, fill out the legal forms, and file them on time with the court. When necessary, they can make appearances in court.
2. They can identify all assets and liabilities
It is often easier to find liabilities because creditors will be calling you. However, there are sometimes assets that a parent had that are not listed in the will. This is often true if the will has not been updated in several years. A probate attorney can track down any assets your deceased parent had but failed to mention. Once all assets have been identified, they can be appraised and then sold if necessary. Creditors can be paid with a portion of the proceeds, and the balance can be distributed to the heirs.
3. They can negotiate with those contesting the will
This may simply mean that your lawyer will step in and resolve things if siblings and other relatives think they are not getting their fair share. There may be any number of arguments they put forward. The problem is that as the executor of the will, you may not be seen as a neutral party. You may even stand to inherit a large portion of the estate. In this situation, there is no way you will be seen as fair. A probate attorney can negotiate with others, including their legal representatives, if they have them, to find a solution that prevents long, drawn-out litigation.
If you are the executor of the will left by your deceased parent, there is a strong likelihood that the estate will need to go through probate. Although you can do this yourself, the process can be long and time-consuming. An attorney can do this work for you by identifying all assets while settling outstanding debt. They can also negotiate with other parties if there is a dispute over the will. You can contact a probate law office to discuss the particulars of your case.