77% of American adults believe that will writing and estate planning is vital for everyone, regardless of your wealth or income levels. Sadly, 55% die without a will or an estate plan, while 71% do not have an up-to-date will. If the deceased loved one appoints you as an executor of their estate, you may have to handle the grief of losing someone you cared about and the pressure that comes with serving as an executor.
Going through probate is a long and complicated process, especially if the estate in question is vast. To make it easier and avoid costly errors, you should consider hiring a probate attorney. Their knowledge in Probate law and experience in handling estate planning can ease asset distribution amongst the listed heirs.
Here are five reasons why you should consider hiring a probate lawyer.
1. Gain Access to the Estate Quicker
Probating is a fairly lengthy process, with most taking over a year. The beneficiaries may not instantly receive access to properties, investments, or assets. Having a probate attorney by your side can help speed up the process. The lawyer understands the process and documents you need to file in court.
2. Get Answers for All Queries
Without a deep knowledge of Probate law, your appointment as an executor may throw you into uncharted waters. You may be responsible for some errors done during the distribution. A probate attorney is an excellent source for all legal queries and concerns. Their knowledge and experience may prove invaluable throughout the entire process.
3. Resolve Debts and Expenses Correctly
Finances are not the easiest item to sort out on behalf of another person, but it is necessary. The deceased may have owed some debts that need to be taken care of. You will most likely need to pay some basic debts and personal loans. A probate attorney ensures that you do everything correctly without over or underpaying.
4. Avoid Family Conflicts
Disputes arising from the distribution of the estate can cause costly delays. Without a probate attorney, family members may want to be part of the process, leading to conflict and confusion. Tensions may start to rise, resulting in expensive lawsuits. A well-versed lawyer in family law may offer clarification on any questions that family members may have, diffusing any potential conflict.
5. Protect The Estate From Claims
Aside from family members, you may have third-party defendants that may claim the estate. It is a common feature for family members or spouses that were never mentioned in the estate plan but feel like they should have been. Additionally, beneficiaries may feel discontent with the distribution of the estate. A probate lawyer can help protect the estate, erasing the claims about using the estate for personal gain. Lawsuits from other parties such as banks may stall the process with lawsuits. Hiring an attorney can defend the estate.
Probate lawyers play a critical role during will writing, estate planning, and the eventual probate process. You can minimize the stress of being an executor by bringing in an attorney to guide you. If you need a probate attorney in Knoxville, TN, reach out to Samuel B. Tipton, Attorney at Law.