Many issues can arise when a loved one passes away. When looking for free legal advice online, hiring a probate lawyer may be one of the top questions you have at this time. When you’re considering whether or not to hire a probate lawyer, it’s important to consider a number of factors that are unique to your own situation. While prospective clients are certainly encouraged to contact a law firm directly for more specific information, here are a few things to keep in mind when you’re deciding whether to hire probate lawyer.
Complex Estate Taxes
There may be many complex tax issues in an estate, especially if the estate is very large. One of the main goals of settling an estate is to disperse the person’s assets as stated in their will while minimizing the amount of taxes that may be taken out.
Inheritance taxes can be surprisingly high in some states, but there are various ways that assets may be passed on without paying unreasonable tax rates. A probate lawyer may be able to provide counsel prior to the individual’s passing to ensure that taxes are kept at a minimum.
Disputes Over an Estate
It’s not uncommon for heirs of an estate to argue about the details of their loved one’s last wishes. This may be especially common in cases where a person’s will has not been updated to reflect changes in assets or in cases where the estate is very large.
Family members and other parties connected to the deceased could find themselves in a legal battle if the terms of a will are not absolutely clear. The legal knowledge that a probate lawyer could provide in this sort of situation may be invaluable.
Estate Executor Responsibilities
An executor is the person named in the deceased’s will to ensure that their final wishes are carried out. The main legal function of the executor is to disperse the assets of the estate as is dictated in the will. The executor may also be responsible for other financial proceedings, such as paying off debts or settling any unpaid taxes.
If you’ve been named the executor of an estate, you might be interested in seeking legal counsel before making any decisions on how to handle the estate. An executor may need to go to probate court following their loved one’s passing, and unfortunately, probate court procedures are often very complicated and time-consuming. It may be very beneficial to receive legal counsel from an experienced probate attorney who knows how to navigate the system in a time- and cost-efficient manner.
Hire a Probate Lawyer
If you’re considering hiring a probate lawyer, know that many trustworthy law firms offer free initial consultations to prospective individuals and families. During this consultation, you’ll be able to speak with a probate lawyer about the specifics of your own case.
Thanks to our friends and contributors from Hot Legal Tips for their insight into probate and estate planning.