Benefits of Hiring a Probate Attorney to Obtain Court Probate Settlement of Your Deceased Relative's Estate
It's always best if your relative plans in advance how an estate should be divided and who is entitled to receive assets from the estate. When there is no planning before the relative dies, you can expect all kinds of complications to arise from disgruntled family members. They may threaten to have a probate court intercede with a probate court action. You will need to hire a probate attorney to sort out the issues. A probate lawyer helps you from becoming bogged down in controversy if indeed the matter ends up in probate court for settlement.
Investigating the Course to Pursue
Your probate lawyer will investigate whether there are assets that can be transferred outside of probate. All of your deceased relative's assets can be transferred to you and other designated family members without probate court intervention if the assets were planned for with you as a beneficiary in a legal will. Without a will, testy relatives will be poised to seek court intervention. An experienced probate attorney will start examining the size of the estate.
Determining the Size of the Estate
A probate attorney determines how small or large the estate is and whether it contains common assets. Common assets include things like vehicles, a home, bank accounts, and household goods. Ownership of a business or commercial real estate and other assets require special handling that only a probate lawyer can sort out. These matters quickly become very complicated for you to handle without legal advice, and order is best accomplished with a probate lawyer in charge.
Probate Lawyer Introduces Sense of Order
Your probate lawyer is a highly qualified professional who brings a sense of order to your dilemma in handling the uproar of settling the distribution of your deceased family member's estate. It's your lawyer who can offer you expert legal and tax advice should the estate need to file an estate tax IRS return. This is especially important if there is an extensive estate to settle, and state rules will take precedence.
State Rules Govern Estate Tax Laws
Each state has its own rules about how to tax an estate. You may find that your relative's estate may not owe federal or state tax due to its small size, but that's something for your lawyer to determine based on current laws in the state where your relative resided. Be prepared to start gathering important documents.
Providing Important Documents
Help your probate lawyer immensely by providing necessary information to move the probate investigation process along smoothly. Make a list of documents that your attorney needs involving debts, personal loans or other bills. Collect and offer life insurance policies, deeds, mortgages and funeral bill documents. Gather and turn over your deceased relative's income tax returns for the past three years. Make sure to submit all documents in a timely manner.
For more information about what to do when a deceased loved one's estate goes to probate, contact an attorney like David R Webb Attorney.