The Holmes-Rahe Stress Inventory rates various life events for stress. Not surprisingly the death of a spouse is the top item and the death of a close family is in the top five too. It’s not surprising then that it’s at a time like this that executors and families turn to professionals to help them.
The legal issues around death can be complex. A probate lawyer can help you with your will and with settling an estate. Read on to learn 5 reasons you need to hire a probate lawyer.
What is Probate and what does a Probate Lawyer Do?
Probate is the process by which estates get settled after someone dies. It’s a court process so it can be complicated and involve legal terminology. It’s important for anybody writing a will, for any beneficiary of a will and for anybody named as an executor of a will that it is handled properly.
Using their knowledge of probate law, a probate lawyer can help the process of administering an estate after someone has died. They ensure that the instructions of the deceased are followed and their heirs receive any inheritance with minimum stress.
1. Drafting a Will
There are DIY will writing options available on the market but there are consequences for your heirs if you get it wrong. Not only can your poorly drafted will be contested but it can also cause stress and conflict for your heirs. The best way of ensuring that your wishes are followed on your death is to have your will drafted by a probate lawyer.
2. Protect the Estate
A probate lawyer can help ensure that the wishes of the deceased and the interests of their descendants are protected. Legal claims are sometimes made after death. These claims against the estate are difficult to resist without legal training and experience.
Hiring a probate lawyer to handle claims against the estate helps reduce the anxiety descendants feel when having to deal with an unfamiliar process at what may be a difficult time.
3. Speed Up Probate
The probate process can be complex and depending on the details of the will it may not run smoothly. A probate attorney can assist an untrained executor to negotiate the legal process. They can help resolve the many financial and legal matters that arise with a minimum of fuss and delay.
4. Support Executors and Heirs
As an executor, you are likely to have many questions about how to fulfill your responsibilities. As an heir, you may have questions about the probate process and what to expect. A probate lawyer helps reduce confusion and doubt about these legal matters.
A probate lawyer can help executors with court filings, debt settlement, appraising assets and releasing inheritance. The role of executor is fraught with potential pitfalls that leave the executor open to personal legal risks. Some professional help may be a relief.
5. Reduce Family Conflict
Death can result in a range of emotional reactions. There is grief but it can also be a time of tension between family members and other heirs. Disputes about the estate based on differing expectations do occur.
A probate lawyer may reduce these tensions more effectively than people more closely involved. The professional detachment of a lawyer and understanding of the probate process can calm things down.
You are not required to have an estate attorney. A probate lawyer can make life easier after death. This article is not legal advice but you may want the assistance of a professional at a difficult time.