Have you lost a loved one recently? Are you not sure where to start with the probate process? Are you wondering why you would need a probate attorney? There are many ways a probate attorney can help if you are going through the probate process for an estate. In this guide, our law firm will walk through what probate is and when you would need a probate attorney.
What is Probate?
Probate is a legal process in which estates are settled after a person dies. This is a court process and the act of distributing assets from the deceased’s estate. This legal process must be handled properly as the process of administering an estate will cover the following:
- Validating the will, if any, of the deceased person
- Appoint an estate administrator, executive or representative
- Determining the worth of the estate’s assets
- Paying off estate taxes and debts
- Identifying beneficiaries and heirs
- Distributing assets to beneficiaries and heirs
To learn about how probate works in Indiana, visit our blog or contact our law firm.
When Do I Need a Probate Lawyer?
Many probate estates are straightforward and the involvement of an attorney is not necessary. This type of probate estate will likely be designated as an unsupervised estate. Generally, unsupervised estates are those where the estate is not high value and there are no disputes. You will likely not need a probate lawyer for an unsupervised estate. Supervised estates, on the other hand, are generally more complicated. If you are an executor or administrator of a supervised estate, you may benefit from speaking with a probate lawyer.
Do You Have a Supervised Estate?
Supervised probate estates require involvement of the court or magistrate. There is also paperwork to file with the court. Generally, this is due to one or more of the following:
- There is no will and/or the heirs are unknown
- The will is unclear
- Assets are difficult to value or sell
- Beneficiaries do not agree
What Does a Probate Attorney Do?
The probate process can range from 6 months to several years. If you have a supervised estate, it is important that you consult with an attorney right away. Not only will an experienced probate attorney have the ability to get you faster access to the estate but also be with you throughout the process. Your attorney can also help you prevent:
- Needless family conflict
- Claims against the estate
- Third-party delays
- Mishandling debt repayment
Schedule a Consultation With Our Probate Lawyers
If you have determined that you need a probate attorney, contact our law firm today to schedule a free consultation with our team. Consulting and choosing a probate attorney with experience matters.
The Rice & Rice team is experienced in helping clients through the probate process and we are here to help you. With offices in Valparaiso, Lafayette and Granger (near South Bend) we are uniquely positioned to serve clients throughout Indiana. We also serve clients in Illinois and Michigan.