If you are involved in the estate of recently deceased person, then you probably already know that the state maintains procedures for how to deal with the estate of an individual who passes away. Unless some significant effort has gone into estate planning to avoid the probate process, the estate of a decedent will have to pass through probate.
Many people have the mistaken belief that the simple act of creating a will is enough to avoid probate, but this is not the case. Even if an individual has created a will, the probate process may be triggered if the estate meets certain conditions.
No matter how the estate may be entangled with probate, the guidance of an experienced attorney can help ensure that process goes smoothly and does not unnecessarily deplete the estate before being distributed to the correct beneficiaries.
A good probate lawyer connects many dots to make the most efficient picture
It’s easy to assume that since the probate process is automatically triggered if steps are not taken to avoid or streamline it, it must be fine to just let it run it’s course – after all, that’s what it’s there for, right?
This perspective fails to acknowledge how wasteful, inefficient, and inflexible the process is. Estates that are simply left to pass through probate without good legal counsel may become depleted by the system before they even make it to their intended beneficiaries.
In many cases, the guidelines of the state regard how property should be distributed may be far from what the decedent intended, and may leave you without what you should have received.
A probate lawyer coordinates and shepherds many facets of the process , including
- Identifying any tax burden that the estate may have
- Locating and valuing all the assets in the estate
- Handling insurance issues and payouts
- Ensuring that all the proper documentation drafted and filed with authorities
- Instructing the executor on keeping the decedents bills in order to avoid incurring debts
Can you do all those things yourself? Well, maybe – but almost certainly not with the same cost-saving efficiency. The notion that it will be cheaper to forego a probate attorney is misguided in most cases, because it does not take into account how much may be lost without proper guidance.
Why should the government eat up that estate?
Ultimately, the probate process does not have to be an epic saga that spans what seems like generations of time. An experienced counselor can help you walk through all portions of probate , and make sure that the estate is left as intact as possible in the process. If you are facing probate, there’s no reason why you should walk through it alone. After all, you’ve got a life to get on with living!