Probate lawyers are specialized legal professionals who handle the legal process of administering the estate of a deceased person. This process, known as probate, involves a number of steps to ensure that a deceased person’s assets are properly managed and distributed according to their wishes.
The first step in the probate process is to collect and value the deceased person’s assets. This involves identifying all of the assets that make up the estate, such as real estate, personal property, and financial accounts. The probate lawyer will work with the executor of the estate to gather all of the necessary information and documents to properly value these assets.
Once all of the assets have been collected and valued, the probate lawyer will help the executor pay any outstanding debts and taxes. This can include things like mortgages, credit card balances, and income taxes. The lawyer will provide guidance on how to properly handle these debts and make sure that they are paid in a timely and legal manner.
After all debts and taxes have been paid, the probate lawyer will help the executor distribute the remaining assets to the beneficiaries named in the deceased person’s will. This can involve transferring ownership of real estate or other assets, or distributing funds from financial accounts. The lawyer will provide guidance on how to properly distribute the assets and make sure that the process is carried out according to the wishes of the deceased person.
In addition to these tasks, probate lawyers can also provide guidance on tax planning and help resolve any legal disputes that may arise during the probate process. For example, if there is a disagreement among the beneficiaries about how the assets should be distributed, the probate lawyer can provide legal advice and represent their client in court if necessary.
Overall, probate lawyers play a crucial role in the administration of a deceased person’s estate. They provide valuable legal guidance and ensure that the probate process is carried out efficiently and according to the law. By hiring a probate lawyer, executors and beneficiaries can have peace of mind knowing that their legal rights and interests are being protected.