Opening and settling an estate can be a complex process. The Lexington probate attorneys at Wiggins & Hall Law Group are here to simplify that process for you.
What Exactly is Probate?
Probate is the process of settling and administering one’s estate after they pass away. The probate lawyer’s job is to offer assistance as an estate passes through the court system in order for it to be distributed properly. There are several steps that the court must go through to close an estate, and the attorney’s job is to make sure everything is initiated and followed through on as these steps are being followed.
Some of the basics of probate include:
- Validating the will
- Creating an inventory of assets
- Getting appropriate appraisals for assets
- Creating a list of debts
- Paying debts
- Dispersing the remaining property according to the will
If there is no will, the estate is said to be “in testate,” and the court will have even more say in what becomes of the decedent’s property.
Why Do I Need a Probate Attorney?
Probate law can be complex and often hard to understand. The more assets and property you own, and the more people you name as beneficiaries, the more complex the process becomes. Tie in estate taxes and other regulations and you are left with a process where it becomes easy to make a mistake.
Not every estate needs a probate lawyer. Some families have placed their assets into trusts that actually don’t go through the probate process, for example. Additionally, some wills are very simple and easy to execute, such as in a case where there are little to no debts and common property is left to a surviving spouse alone.
In most other cases, however, hiring a Lexington probate attorney will simplify the process for all involved and take the burden away from the family of the deceased loved one. Our attorneys keep current on relevant state and local laws as they change.
Our attorneys can also become an objective outside party who can act as the executor of the will in situations where family tensions run high. Conflicts over the division of assets can tear a family apart. Often times, beneficiaries of an estate disagree about a number of issues, including the interpretation of a will or trust, the testator’s intent, and the distribution of assets. If someone with a legal financial interest in the estate wants to contest the will, it makes sense to have a probate attorney working to make sure the decedent’s wishes are carried out to the best of the court’s ability.
Let Our Lexington Probate Attorneys Handle Your Estate
The attorneys at Wiggins & Hall Law Group can help you open and settle the estate of your loved one, and make sure you understand the sometimes complicated steps in the process.
If you have any questions or want to contact one of our attorneys, give us a call at (888) 474-0703. We are ready to assist you any way we can.