When a loved one dies, the profound sense of loss can overwhelm you. It’s important to take time to heal. You should step back from your job duties and household responsibilities. It’s essential to maintain a connection with family and friends. And if you’re the executor or executrix of your loved one’s estate, or if they had no will, you should seek professional guidance and assistance from a probate attorney.
When you’re in charge of handling an estate, you must navigate the probate court system and comply with court guidelines and schedules. You’ll execute complicated will provisions, create complex court-required documents, obtain a federal tax identification number, secure a probate bond and manage funds. Even minor estate matters can present added burdens when you’re least prepared to handle them. It’s not a time for a DIY legal fix. Consider these 6 benefits of working with a probate attorney:
1. Your probate attorney is a specialist
Any attorney can agree to handle your probate case, but only probate attorneys are dedicated probate specialists. They don’t negotiate injury claims or defend criminal matters. Probate attorneys resolve probate and trust cases only. They know probate court rules, forms, procedures, court officials, and probate complications. They perform the same tasks and see different versions of the same issues every day so they understand what’s critical to your case.
2. No upfront fees
You don’t have to pay a retainer or any other attorney fees to get your case moving forward. Your probate attorney will eventually receive payment for services but only after the case is finalized. Probate legal fees are approved by the court and paid out of the proceeds of the estate. You’ll never have to worry about budgeting for legal expenditures.
3. Time to connect with family
Estates can be complicated and time-consuming. The process can seem like an endless stream of details, documents, and court requirements. The activity can take you away from friends and family members when they need you most. Probate attorneys shoulder these responsibilities on your behalf and keep you apprised of the details. If your attorneys require an answer or an action from you or need to inform you of a hearing or procedure, they keep you notified.
4. Faster Resolution
If you attempt to administer an estate without professional help, you’ll eventually learn by trial-and-error. You’ll get it done, but it’s not a prudent, efficient, or timely way to handle such an important matter. Probate cases involve a lot of details. Your best effort can translate into a long, drawn-out, frustrating process. Probate attorneys don’t have that learning curve. They have the knowledge and experience to expedite the process and that can make a big difference in your peace of mind
5. Freedom from liability
With so many details to master, it’s easy for an inexperienced administrator to make a mistake. If you fail to properly marshal assets, pay heirs or creditors or perform other required tasks, you may be financially liable for your inadvertent error. Your probate attorneys can perform these tasks more accurately and efficiently. And if they commit an error, they assume the responsibility instead of you.
6. Minimal disputes
Estate cases sometimes trigger disputes that end up in a litigation. The resultant court cases can take years to resolve. The legal fees and expenses can reduce the estate’s value. Probate attorneys minimize the chance of disputes by handling cases in the most efficient, effective, professional, and timely manner.
You Need a Probate Professional
When you’re responsible for administering an estate, the added responsibilities can monopolize your time. In the absence of a will, the process can become even more complicated. Contact us when you need help resolving estate or trust matters. Our probate attorneys can minimize problems, expedite the process, and give you more time to care for your family.