It’s a sad fact that around 60 million people die worldwide each year. If your loved one has recently passed on, you may be getting ready to deal with the division of their estate.
But what are the signs you need to hire a probate lawyer? You may be reluctant to pay for an attorney if you’re trying to keep costs as low as possible. While this is understandable, there are several factors that could suggest it would be best to appoint a professional who can help you with the probate process.
Read on to learn more.
1. You’re Not Sure Which Documents Are Required
There can be a considerable amount of documentation required to complete the probate process. If you don’t know which papers you need, this could cause delays and lead to further stress. You’ll also need to ensure all relevant parties receive the documentation, but you might not know who should get a copy.
A probate lawyer can explain which documents will be required, and when they are needed, to make the process run smoothly.
2. There Are Estate Division Disputes
Unfortunately, there can be disputes when it comes to dividing up an estate, and this can be unpleasant for everyone. For example, some family members could be disappointed with the allocation of the assets, and argue that they are entitled to a larger share. This can be a challenging time that could cause deep divisions between relatives.
In this scenario, a probate lawyer can represent your interests and ensure the will is upheld. As they know the law, a probate attorney may be able to have these issues settled quickly, rather than allowing personal in-fighting to get in the way.
3. There Is Debt to Be Paid
Should the deceased have unpaid debt, you will need to pay creditors from the proceeds of the estate. This is another situation where disputes can easily arise, and you could find yourself arguing with creditors who want more than their fair share. When you have the services of a probate lawyer at your disposal, they can take care of this problem for you.
A professional will know how to ensure the debt is paid, and that you are left with as much of the estate as possible.
4. The Estate Is Complicated
The larger the estate, the more complicated it’s likely to be. For example, there may be a business included, or there could be many split assets. If you’re unsure of the law, you could end up making costly mistakes when executing the will.
You may also find your decisions are challenged, dragging the process even out even longer. By handing the probate responsibilities to a lawyer, you could spare yourself a lot of tension and hassle.
5. You’re Too Upset to Think Straight
When a loved one dies, you could find you’re struggling to think straight. At such an emotional time, you could either make incorrect decisions or not be able to make any decisions at all. Rather than put yourself through more stress, it can help to hire a probate lawyer while you look after your health.
How to Find a Probate Lawyer
If you feel that hiring a probate lawyer is the right option, it’s important to choose the right one. Otherwise, you could end up having to find another probate attorney further down the line. Use these tips to hire a top-class professional.
Look For Industry Experience
When you search for a probate lawyer, it can be a good idea to ask about their industry experience. A professional with many years of experience will be able to explain the probate procedures and help you complete the process as quickly as possible. They will also have come across many issues before, allowing them to avoid any problems before they impact the execution of the will.
Ask for References
A probate lawyer may say they are excellent at their job, but you’ll want to know what their clients think of their services. You can look up online reviews, but you should be aware that some comments may not be unfair, or they could even be untrue. To get a better idea of what kind of service you can expect from a probate lawyer, you can ask if they can provide you with references.
If you see an attorney has plenty of client testimonials, you can hire them with confidence.
Consider Their Fees
You won’t want to pay more than necessary when you hire a probate lawyer, but you mightn’t want to go for the cheapest quote either. Probate is an important process, and you’ll want the will to be executed properly. If a probate lawyer is slightly more expensive than one of their rivals, ask them why they charge more.
You could find their qualifications or level of experience justifies the extra cost.
Decide if You Need to Hire a Probate Lawyer
If you’re dealing with the division of a loved one’s estate, you may decide you need the help of a professional probate lawyer. This could be the case if you are finding the probate process too complex, or if there are disputes over the division of the estate. It’s also possible you could simply find dealing with the estate to be too difficult at an emotional time.
Should you notice any of these signs, it might be best to hire an expert to handle the probate process on your behalf.
If you’ve found this probate lawyer article helpful, check out more of our excellent blog posts before you go.