When a loved one in a family passes away and the family is going through stress and grief, they have to face a lot of tough decisions. This is the time when the family members are least able to make such arrangements. This is where a probate attorney is someone who can be an immense help. Not in any other place is this more important than during the estate settlement and during the probate proceedings. The probate laws are complicated and not just any individual, other than an expert probate attorney, has the adequate knowledge in this area.
When someone dies, the family is already carrying a burden of bereavement and grief, a circumstance which no-one is really ready for. Adding to their anxiety is the serious task of settling the estate properly. An expert probate attorney could ease this tension in such a difficult situation.
Why Getting the Help of a Probate Attorney?
Unfortunately, the law has to wait for nobody, and an estate of a deceased one must be settled a proper way. The responsibility of how the settlement will be done is determined by Last Will and the Testament of the person who passed away.
The person mentioned in the will to do this task is called an executor of this estate. According to an expert NJ Probate Attorney, through the probate proceeding, the court sets the executor to become the personal representative of this estate. Using the help of a qualified probate attorney must be one of estate’s top priorities.
If someone dies without writing a will, then the decedent is considered having died “intestate”. In this process, the estate property’s division is determined by the state statutes. The family member estate positions are a function of intestacy laws under jurisdiction of the state which the decedent had been domiciled.
For this, it is vital to sign with a probate attorney who services in the decedent’s home town. Assets that are titled in a trust’s name normally avoid the probate process, thus giving greater privacy and fewer administrative expenses. This also lets the probate attorney to settle assets quickly.
Why a Probate Attorney Can Be Great Help
As you may expect, each estate has different and unique assets to be evaluated, sold or settled to the beneficiaries. But prior to an executor takeing an action, they must consult with a probate attorney, in order to avoid a mistake which may be difficult to handle later. An estate settlement could take anywhere from nine months to many years to be completely paid out, but an expert probate attorney can be your best help in this process. One of the best advantages of using the help of an experienced probate attorney is their capability of protecting the executor from financial and legal liability. The repercussions of mishandling the estate affairs could be severe. The personal rep or executor has inherent fiduciary responsibilities of loyalty . Fiduciary duties are among the first topics which all executors must discuss with a reliable probate attorney.
Sometimes the “good intentions” of an executor can lead to bigger problems. For instance, allowing a family member or to use the property or vehicle might expose an estate to liability. Out of kindness, sympathy or force from a family member, the executor might just over-distribute the assets to a beneficiary and then deal with the problem of inadequate funds to settle with the other beneficiaries their share or to settle the estate’s final expenditures. When such a thing happens, an executor might have to take care of the difference with their own funds to pay an unpaid expenditures. An experienced probate attorney could help avoid this.
Hire a Probate Attorney Early
If an executor makes an effort to navigate these problems on their own, without the help of a probate attorney, it might also put them in legal jeopardy and thus even financial jeopardy. Settlement of an estate should not be done with a do-it-yourself approach. The consequences, financially, legally, and even emotionally, are too high. Get in touch with a probate attorney in this process, as early as possible.