Settling the estate of a deceased person is considered probate. A number of factors go into this process, including the assets, debts and property involved. If a will is present, it must be proven valid. Debts and taxes must be taken care of for the deceased. Any property needs to be distributed or sold according to the will.
If no will is present, state law is followed regarding property distribution. This may be the most challenging task in probate. Heirs are grieving and may redirect their grief to the question of what is fair.
The process itself can be very involved which is why the majority of heirs choose to utilize proper counsel. Even with a will in place this can result in a lot of legal proceedings. During such an emotional time, the expertise of a professional is recommended.
Changes To The Will
Everyone assumes that a will in place means the process will be simple. But there are situations that complicate probate. For example, some heirs may suspect that a will has been changed against the wishes of the deceased.
This often occurs towards the end of the person’s life when a family member or friend convinced the person to change his will while he was not of sound mind. If this is suspected, counsel can assist with ensuring that a fair decision is put into place.
Many probates uncover debt or taxes that need to be paid. If a large sum of money is owed, counsel can ensure the money is paid in full without causing issues with other beneficiaries. While it is rare that thousands or millions of dollars will be owed, it can occur. It might become a nightmare if family members or friends try to hash things out on their own.
During this emotional time, it can be overwhelming to take on probate. This is especially true if the heirs have never gone through the process before. Attorneys and counsel are experts and have gone through probate numerous times. They do so with a clear head which quickens the process and makes it easier for the family.
It is important to weigh the pros and cons of utilizing counsel. There are instances when counsel can simply advise on the situation rather than handling the entire probate. If complications arise, a professional knows how to handle them.
The situation that will work varies in each scenario but the process will be far more straightforward with proper counsel. Without it, probate can quickly become a nightmare. There are a number of probate attorneys in Palm Beach who are qualified to help heirs through this process.