Probate is a legal procedure administered by a court. Where it gathers and distributes a decedent asset between beneficiaries and lenders. The process starts by determining if a will exists, then pay off debts, including funeral expenses using the funds from the estate. If there is no legal claim made against the estate, The court splits among the beneficiaries. The estate requires probate if it has immense value. We have listed below the essential documents needed for the probate process.
- Asset list: You need to send a list of all your assets to your attorney. The court needs this information. Your attorney will have to inform the court of all the assets belonging to the decedent.
- Will: The will is a document created with the help of a lawyer, before death. It empowers the executor to divide the estate as per the wishes of the executor.
- Deed: It is a document checked by the court. This document transfers ownership from an old owner to the new one.
- Policies: Insurance policies are essential documents. You should make sure you submit them to your lawyer so that he can help you claim them.
- Court documents: The probate court will provide documents that need to keep safe.
- Trust: Your lawyer will need copies of any trust-related documents.
- Bank statements: Financial documents of bank statements and fixed deposits, including retirement account.
- Address book: Give your lawyer the contact information of all the decedent’s relatives. If the names of some relatives are not in the will include their contacts as well.
- Retirement fund: Benefits of retirement end in the event of death. It may not always be the case. Convey all retirement benefits information to your lawyer as well.
- Death certificate: A probate lawyer needs a copy of the death certificate as it proves the death. This certificate usually takes time to arrive. The lawyer needs it to complete all the court proceedings.
Taking the time and preparing for your meeting with a probate lawyer will ensure a useful and productive interaction. Also, procuring the right documents will enable the attorney to establish an accurate and complete understanding of the estate. This will allow the probate lawyer to get to work immediately.
Do You Need To Go In For A Probate Lawyer?
If you are in any of the situations mentioned then, you may need to hire a probate attorney. Sometimes the deceased may not have planned for death. In such a case, the estate cannot undergo division without probate. Planning for death simplifies the probate process. There will not be any burden on your family to fight in the court for what they deserve.
You also need to check if the estate owes Federal Estate Taxes. As most estates are not required to pay federal estate taxes, as they are not large enough. But if they are a probate lawyer will surely be able to help you out with that process.
Sometimes a will may not be present. In such a case, the estate will have to undergo valuation by a valuator. Your lawyer will help you find a trusted evaluator who will help you get the best value for the estate.
Disgruntled Family Members
An unhappy family member can challenge the will and could sue. They can also file a lawsuit that could create division and cost a lot of money from the estate. A lawyer can avoid a costly court process.
If you cannot find the will of the decedent, the probate process could become problematic. So, you could request a member of the family close to the decedent. They could have the will with them if they do not a probate lawyer could help you obtain the will by going through the proper channels.
The main job of the lawyer is to simplify and help you understand the court probate process. They can help with asset protection. You will have to collect and file documents as and when the court requests you. The lawyer could assist you with those jobs.
Probate is a prolonged and demanding process. During the procedure, the court requires many documents. The court could request fresh copies during the proceedings. As a result, the lawyer will help you obtain these documents quickly and will ensure you save time and help speed the process. You have to make sure you hire a competent lawyer to help guide you. The death of an individual close to you can drain you emotionally. Your mental state may not be right to follow the court proceedings. Therefore, hire a lawyer to help you out.