As the executor of a will, it’s important to understand the probate process. You’ll be in charge of many things, including the acquisition of the will, disbursing assets, handling debts, and finding beneficiaries. Should an issue come up, whether it be a missing asset, a disgruntled family member, or a missing document, you’ll want to have a probate lawyer in Dallas, TX to help you determine the best course of action. If you find yourself facing probate court, the experienced legal team at Brandy Austin Law Firm, PLLC may provide you with unparalleled guidance to help you through this confusing process.
1. A lawyer can provide legal counsel to get the probate process started.
Upon the passing of your loved one (the individual who created the will), you might end up facing a lot of estate planning issues that you’ve never encountered before. As executor of a will, it is your responsibility to bring the will to the probate judge for review and authentication. There are many smaller tasks you’ll need to accomplish in order to make this happen, and for plenty of these tasks, you don’t need much legal knowledge to get them done. However, you will need to keep track of many documents and you’ll need to dedicate a lot of time to getting everything in order. This is where a probate lawyer may be beneficial. A lawyer can do things like order the death certificate, file the decedent’s will in the local probate court, get property appraisals for assets in the will, and even begin looking at the decedent’s most recent taxes and debts.
2. If there are family disputes over assets, you’ll want a lawyer helping you communicate effectively.
It is the duty of the executor to collect assets and keep them safe until the probate process concludes and the judge releases the assets to the rightful beneficiaries. Even the most well thought out and uncontested will can take several months to a year to go through the probate process. When there is conflict, such as missing assets or a disgruntled family member who wants to contest the will, the process can last several years.
3. When a decedent has unpaid debts and/or taxes, a probate lawyer can handle these issues.
Paying off outstanding debts is an important part of an executor’s duties. If your loved one didn’t leave any substantial debts, this likely won’t be something you’ll have to worry about. However, if you discover that they left behind a significant amount of unpaid debt, you’ll want a probate lawyer helping you deal with creditors.
Additionally, here are three primary taxes to consider when dealing with the value and distribution of assets. They are estate, inheritance, and gift taxes. Each state has its own laws and method of determining which assets will be taxed. When it comes to taxes, an experienced attorney can help you understand the best way to proceed.
In the event that you find yourself handling a loved one’s estate in probate court, you might find yourself asking the question, “How can a probate lawyer in Dallas, TX help me?” Contact Brandy Austin Law Firm, PLLC today for more information about how a probate lawyer from our firm may help you.