As if losing a loved one or someone close to you isn't bad enough, this is sometimes followed by a legal process called probate. During probate, the deceased person's estate is tallied up and possibly distributed to loved ones and friends as listed in the deceased's will or last testament. But the probate process itself can get complicated and turn into a headache if you are unprepared. Here's what you need to know.
Taxes Are Usually a Part Of It But Don't Panic
Depending on who you talk to or what you read in the media, you might have the idea in your head that the government can take a massive amount of the money you thought you were going to inherit by the time the probate process is over. While you indeed have to pay taxes and settle certain debts, there will likely be plenty left over to go around. If the reason you are panicking though is that you don't understand the first thing about estate taxes or other probate expenses, then perhaps it's time to contact an attorney.
A Probate Lawyer is Exactly What You Need Right Now
Your husband, wife, parent or someone else very close to you passed away and you are now the executor of the estate. Chances are though that you are likely still grieving and might not be fully prepared for the road ahead. That's just one reason why you need to hire a probate lawyer as soon as you can. Here are some of the things a good probate lawyer can do for you:
- Deal with the paperwork so you don't have to.
- Figure out the taxes or hire an accountant who can
- Make sure everyone in the will plays fair and that your loved one's final wishes are carried out.
- Attempt to settle any family disputes before it all ends up in a courtroom
Patience is Key
While a lawyer can help speed up the process, you still need to remember that the American court system can move slowly at times. If the will is finalized and everyone is in agreement from the start, then maybe things will go smoothly. But if there are debts you are not sure you have to pay or you believe someone might challenge the will, it's important to just take a deep breath. You may want to put this behind you and move on, but taking the time to do things the right way will ensure that nothing comes back to haunt you later on.
Contact a law firm that offers probate lawyer services today.