Probate is a legal process that takes place after a person dies. It includes proving in court that a deceased person's will is valid, identifying and inventorying or classifying the deceased's property, having said property appraised, paying debts and/or taxes, and distributing the remaining assets as the will directs. If there's no will, state law determines what happens with remaining assets.
After an individual's death, the person named in their will as executor -- or, if there is no will, the person appointed by a judge -- files papers in the local probate court. The executor proves the will is valid and presents the court with lists of owned property, debts, and who is to inherit wha tis left. Afterwards relatives and creditors are officially notified of the death.
Handling all these issues can be a lot when you are dealing with the passing of a loved one. As an executor, one must find, secure, and manage the assets during the probate process, which commonly takes a few months to a year. Depending on the contents of the will, and on the amount of the debts, the executor may have to decide whether or not to sell real estate, securities, or other property. Probate probate attorneys are skilled at handling estates and advises executors and the beneficiaries of an estate on how to settle the final affairs of a deceased person.
A probate attorney's assistance can include:
Complicated estates can prove to be minefields of potential issues that are best handled by a professional. The assistance of an attorney can prove absolutely invaluable when beneficiaries don't get along, when the estate includes complex assets like business interests, or when the decedent didn't leave sufficient assets to pay all debts.
Let the Cuyler Firm Help!
The Cuyler Firm is more than ready to assist with any needs you have in this time of bereavement - as we are well versed to manage all the above tasks to make your probate handling less stressful.