If you recently lost a loved one and he/she appointed you to be the Executor of the estate you must concentrate on the practical and legal ramifications of the decedent’s death as well as dealing with your own grief. Probating an estate can be a complex and time-consuming endeavor, which is why many Executors choose to retain an experienced probate attorney to help them through the process. If you find yourself responsible for probating an estate, the probate lawyers at Morris Hall, PLLC offer 5 reasons why hiring a lawyer to help you is a good idea.
Probating An Estate: Reasons to Hire a Probate Lawyer to Help You
Someone must administer the estate and oversee the probate process. If the decedent executed a Will prior to his/her death, that person is the individual named as the Executor in the Will. In an intestate estate, any competent adult can volunteer for the job pending court approval. Having an experienced probate lawyer on your side as you oversee the probate process is a good idea for numerous reasons, including:
- Navigating the legal system can be frustrating. Many people never have a need to navigate the legal system. Even those who have some experience with the legal system are not usually familiar with the probate process because probate court only handles issues relating to wills, trusts and estates and guardianships. Trying to navigate an unfamiliar legal system right after losing a loved one can be frustrating, to say the least. Hiring a probate lawyer to help you eliminates that course of frustration.
- A lawyer already understands the state and federal laws. Probate is governed by numerous state and federal laws that must be considered during the process. The average person has no reason to be familiar with these laws; however, as the Executor you will be held accountable for not abiding by any of the applicable laws.
- Mistakes can be costly. As a first-time Executor, making a mistake is easy to do. Missing assets, under or over-valuing assets, failing to properly notify creditors, or miscalculating the amount of taxes due are just a few common mistakes. A mistake made during the probate of an estate can cost the estate a considerable amount of both time and money, which is yet another reason why having an attorney by your side is to your benefit.
- Having an attorney to act as a buffer reduces the likelihood of family feuds. Unfortunately, probate litigation is common. An estate need not be extremely valuable for loved ones to start squabbling over it. Last-minute changes to a Will, for example, will frequently prompt a challenge to the Will. Since there is a good chance the challenger will be a family member or close friend of the family, it can put you in an awkward position. If you have an attorney on board, however, he/she can act as a buffer to help prevent long-term family conflicts.
- You may not have the time required to properly administer the estate. Generally, the larger and/or more valuable an estate is, the more time-consuming the probate process will be. If you have a demanding job and/or a family of your own, it may be difficult to devote the time and attention required to properly probate the estate, which adds a final reason why retaining a probate lawyer to help you is a wise decision.
Contact Probate Lawyers
For more information, please join us for an upcoming FREE seminar. If you have additional questions or concerns about probating an estate, contact the experienced probate lawyers at Morris Hall, PLLC by calling 888-222-1328 to schedule your appointment today.