When you lose a loved one, the last thing you want to do is handle financial and legal concerns. Unfortunately, death has legal and financial consequences in the probate process. Assets, debts, and legal documents must be handled appropriately to settle or “probate the estate.” This can be a very complex and lengthy process if you are not an expert in probate law. Here are seven ways hiring a probate lawyer can streamline probating an estate.
1. Satisfying Debts
Any debts left behind by the deceased must be paid. Ensuring these debts are paid correctly, and the proper documentation is obtained is essential. Any mistakes could delay the probate process.
2. Adding Up Assets
The assets left by the deceased must be calculated and accounted for to be added to the estate. Probate attorneys and their team can ensure all assets are included within the estate to be distributed after the court approves the will.
3. Reduce Family Feuds
If one person in the family handles the probate details, and distribution of assets, there is often conflict. It is common for arguments to occur about how the process is dealt with, and family members may want to get involved. Having a lawyer handle the probate process helps to reduce tension and arguments between family members.
4. Filing Court Documents
The probating process can only be completed once certain documents are filed with the court. If this filing is done incorrectly, it will delay completing the distribution of assets. Probate lawyers know precisely what needs to be filed and can ensure it is done correctly.
5. Conflicts with Outside Entities
To finish probate, you will need the help of financial institutions and other entities that will need to give you documentation proving debts are satisfied or the value of assets. Third-party entities can delay the process if they do not cooperate. An attorney can hasten this process by dealing with these entities on a legal level.
6. Preventing Claims and Lawsuits
Having a probate lawyer handle the estate can prevent claims from family members who believe they were unintentionally left out of the will or contest the distribution of assets. There are fewer chances of misunderstandings or concerns about a family member trying to obtain personal gain from the estate.
7. Quicker Probating
The probate process is not fast – even with a lawyer, it will take a few months or more to complete. However, without a lawyer, you can have significant delays before the process is completed, often a year or longer.
You do not need to burden yourself with the legal complexities and emotional hardship of probating a loved one’s estate. Contact our team at Plunkett, Hamilton, Manton & Graves, LLP to hire one of our talented probate lawyers. We can streamline probating the estate, giving you time to grieve. Call our Augusta, GA, office to talk to our legal team.
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