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Probate Attorney – Comprehensive planning and guidance.

What is Probate?

Probate is the comprehensive process of administering a dead person’s estate. Organizing their money, assets and possessions and distributing them as inheritance, after paying any taxes and debts.

If the deceased has left a Will, it will name someone, the executor, that they’ve chosen to administer their estate. If the deceased didn’t leave a will, then the state will appoint a representative to administer the estate.

Do I need a Probate Attorney?

Many people who have the time, and basic understanding of the probate process, will apply for probate without using a Probate Attorney. However, you should be aware that applying for the probate and dealing with an estate carries legal obligations. You can incur personal liability if you get it wrong. In addition, many find the probate process stressful and frustrating at a time of emotional distress.

It is recommended that you hire a Probate Attorney in situations that include:

  • A Will that names a charity or charities as beneficiaries.
  • When the estate may be liable for Inheritance Tax
  • If the deceased person left no known Will.
  • If there are concerns over the validity of the Will.
  • If the Will has been, or is likely to be, contested. Usually when dependants of the deceased person have not been mentioned in the will.
  • If the Will mentions, “Trusts” or is complex.
  • Where the deceased person had a foreign propertyor assets.
  • If the estate was insolvent, or, if the value of all the assets is liess than the liabilities.

What happens when there is no Estate Plan or Will?

When someone dies without a will, it is refferred to as dying “intestate”. Even the most simple and straightforward estates can become complicated because without a will setting out your instructions, legal rules will dictate how your money, property, and possesions are allocated. The process is to administer the estate is long and complicated before decsendants receive any of the deceased estate.

When a Will is drafted by a Wills Attorney, the probate process is simpler. A Executor of the Estate is named and the probate timeline is shorter for assets to be distributed to the named beneficiaries.