If you have been named the executor of your parent's estate and there has been a death, you may think that the probate process is straightforward, so there is no reason to involve a probate attorney. But there are several reasons why this is not a good idea. The following are only a few of the significant reasons you should consider speaking with a probate lawyer.
You have siblings who expect a certain inheritance
This can be a big problem if your parent's estate was not divided up equally between the children. It is not uncommon for a man or woman to leave different portions of his or her wealth to different children. If these children are your siblings, as an executor, you may not be seen as impartial. In addition, there may be assets that cannot be divided unless they are sold, and heirs may fight over whether the asset should be sold, even when there is no conflict over the share of the inheritance. As an executor, a probate attorney can help you chart a course to resolve these issues.
There are one or more business interests
If a business must be sold, there are standard procedures regarding the proper sale of a business. Qualified experts will be needed to place an appraisal of the worth of the asset. A probate attorney can advise you on how best to go about the sale of an entire business or a share of ownership, so there is less of a chance of a problem developing over the proceeds.
Your parent's estate is worth less than the outstanding debts
In this case, the state where your parent resided likely has rules as to which creditor gets paid first and how much. An attorney will know exactly how this is done, so legal assistance is the only route to take. Also, you need to consider taxes as well. If your parent's estate owes taxes, these will need to be paid first. After this, if the estate is still worth less than the total outstanding debt, you need a probate lawyer.
Keep in mind that much of the probate process is governed by state law, so the specific advice for your situation will relate directly to the particular rules of the state. In some states there is a simple probate process, but this is only for estates that do not involve any of the above situations. If you have any questions about the probate process, you can always consult with an attorney to simply get information that you need. After this, you can decide if you need the services of a probate attorney.Share
17 February 2017
The laws governing child custody and guardianship can be confusing. As a family attorney, I have helped many clients gain legal guardianship over a foster child or a relative's child. Getting legal guardianship of a child you are caring for is important because you need to be able to make decisions about that child's education, health care and other matters. This blog will help you navigate the world of legal guardianship and show you how to take steps to get guardianship over a child whether the child's parents are cooperative or not. Legal guardianship does matter even if a child is not going to be adopted. I hope to help people find the way to get this done.