Many people mistakenly assume that there is never a need for a probate attorney if the deceased had a will, but this is not always true. There are many situations in which an executor will need to consult with an attorney after a person has died even with a will. The following are just a few of these situations.
Relatives are fighting over the assets
In many situations, there is no need for probate, especially if the assets can be easily transferred to the beneficiary. But wills can be challenged, and the moment they are, it is likely the assets will need to go through a probate process. An executor will need to consult with a probate attorney to understand exactly how best to proceed.
Certain assets were not in the will
The are many reasons that assets are not included in a will. Sometimes they are overlooked, or perhaps they were recently acquired assets and were never listed in the will. Whatever the case may be, if the asset or assets are of significant value, there can be a problem. This is because the beneficiaries named in the will will not be entitled to these assets without some element of the probate process. An attorney can examine the estate of the deceased and advise you on what will be required to distribute these assets.
There is not enough money to pay the debts
If the assets of the deceased are not enough to cover all of the outstanding debts or taxes that are still owed, you will need to consult with a probate attorney. There are procedures that will determine who gets paid and how much. There are certain assets that creditors will not be able to touch. Benefits from an insurance policy are one example, but there are others. For this reason, when the debts are greater than the deceased assets, it is imperative for you to consult with an attorney.
The deceased's assets are subject to an estate tax
Not every state has an estate tax, but many of them do. If you are in such a state, you will need to file an estate tax form, and pay a certain amount of tax. It can become complicated because some assets, such as real estate, can be located in a state with an estate tax while the deceased state of residences does not have a tax. In addition, there are certain exemptions from this tax. A probate lawyer has knowledge of this area of law and can assist you.
Although it is possible to avoid probate in certain circumstances, the situations above necessitate the consultation with a probate attorney like David R Webb Attorney.