After a loved one dies, their estate needs to be settled, no matter how large or small it is, and this can be a monumental task. A probate attorney is someone who can help with this and who will work with the family to make sure everything is done right. Though they can help with the planning for death, too, they can help with settling the estate, paying debts, and distributing assets to make sure everything is done correctly. While it’s not required to work with a probate lawyer, it is highly recommended, as it can make the entire process easier to handle.
Prevent Conflict Within the Family
There are plenty of stories of families torn apart when a loved one dies because they fight over who gets various items from the deceased as well as who gets the money. While a will can help prevent this, it’s possible for someone to feel they were forgotten in the will and argue they should have received money from the deceased.
Having a probate attorney to help with settling the estate can help prevent this, as the attorney will make sure everything is done correctly and legally. They’ll handle any disputes quickly, minimizing the chance that an argument will turn into a lawsuit.
Shorten the Process
Handling an estate after a death can be an incredibly lengthy process, and it can be made a lot longer when things aren’t handled appropriately. Money can take a long time to change hands, it can take a while to receive the paperwork necessary for handling the estate, and it can take time for everyone to do various tasks to get it all completed.
A probate attorney stays on top of everything, pushing for things to get done, to help speed up the process. They can likely see potential areas that will be an issue and get ahead of them, too, preventing a variety of delays. With their help, it won’t take nearly as long for the probate process to complete.
Handle Any Debts Against the Estate
There will likely be debts that may need to be paid from the estate before any money can be split amongst the heirs. It is important to understand what debts need to be paid by someone else, what can be paid through the estate, and what does not need to be paid. There are legal guidelines covering all of this, but it can easily be confusing, and it’s all too easy to end up paying debts that didn’t need to be paid from the estate.
A probate attorney can help determine which debts should be paid from the estate and handle the payments, ensuring everything is paid in full to prevent issues in the future. They can explain all of this to their client, too, so everyone knows where the money went and why.
Prevent Paying Too Much
When debts do need to be paid from the estate, it’s important to know how much to pay. Paperwork that isn’t filed in time or previous payments that haven’t been posted yet can mean the estate ends up paying too much for the debts, and those funds can be difficult or impossible to get back again.
Working with a probate attorney in Knoxville makes it easier to know how much to pay for each debt. The attorney can check the accounts to find out how much money is owed from the estate to prevent overpayment or other issues.
Prevent Potential Claims
When there is a will, there is a list of who is to receive money from the estate. If someone is not listed on the will, they do not receive a part of the estate. However, the person who is not listed may feel this was done in error, and they are entitled to a part of the estate. When this happens, they can make a claim against the estate. This may end up going to court, which slows down the probate process significantly for all involved.
A probate attorney can help make sure everything is done correctly and according to the will, which can help prevent potential claims. If the person is named in the will but doesn’t receive a large share of the money, for instance, the attorney can make sure that is correct and prevent a claim from being filed.
Make Sure It’s Done Right
There is a lot that needs to be done when a loved one dies, from arranging the funeral to dealing with the will or going through probate. All of this happens at a time when someone is grieving the loss of their loved one, which makes everything far more difficult to handle.
Leaving probate to a lawyer will take some of the burden off the person handling the estate and allow them to focus on other tasks and grieve for their loss. The probate attorney can handle all of the paperwork to make sure it’s done right, preventing potential errors that will mean redoing all of the paperwork and making sure everything is filed correctly with the courts.
Get Answers to Any Questions
The probate process can be incredibly confusing, especially for someone who has never dealt with it before. There will be a ton of questions, and finding answers online can be difficult at best. All too often, the person will end up receiving incorrect information, as details can vary from state to state and case to case, and they may make mistakes that can cause the process to last longer.
Working with a probate attorney allows them to get fast answers to any questions they may have. With an attorney working on the case, there’s always someone to turn to when anything doesn’t make sense or when there are questions about the process.
If you’ve had a loved one pass and you’re in charge of the estate, it’s a good idea to start working with a probate attorney right away. The right help can make all the difference during this hard time and can make it easier for you to get everything done right. Talk to a probate attorney now to get more help.