There are a couple reasons why it makes a lot of sense to hire a probate attorney. Learn more about these benefits right here.
60% of Americans lack a will or estate planning.
While no one wants to ruminate on the inevitable, it’s smart to plan for your future. In the event of your passing, your estate will likely go into probate, a state in which someone will need to analyze your assets and determine how they should get distributed.
What is a probate attorney, and how can they help you?
Let’s take a look.
What is a Probate Attorney?
A probate lawyer is a state-licensed lawyer who will work with the executors and beneficiaries of a will to help ensure a smooth transfer of property.
A probate attorney will oversee some complicated processes. These include collecting proceeds from life insurance policies, preparing documents, and paying off bills and debts. They may also resolve tax issues, secure assets, and manage estate checking accounts.
It’s possible to avoid probate if you have a living trust drawn up before you die. However, if you only have a will or lack estate planning documents all together, probate is something your beneficiaries will likely have to deal with. And qualified legal help will help to smooth out the process in a number of ways.
The legal matters surrounding the probate process are complicated. There are a series of laws, as well as documentation and common complications.
Beyond law school, your probate attorney will know the Uniform Probate Code, which enforces rules and limits on an estate’s legal documents. They will also have years of experience in estate law.
If you’ve got documents in probate or are preparing for the inevitable for your beneficiaries, you’ve got to enlist the help of a qualified probate attorney.
Focus on What’s Important
When there is a death, friends and family will have much to concern themselves with. They will have funeral preparations and folks visiting from out of town. This is not to mention the sorrow that they will be learning to live with.
Leaving legal matters in the hands of an expert will allow the bereaved to connect with friends, family, and counselors. When they aren’t worried about documents or court procedures, they can keep their mind on what matters at a very sensitive time.
Probate lawyers typically charge by the hour, with a flat fee, or through a percentage of the value of the estate assets. From a client’s perspective, fixed fee billing provides cost certainty, enabling them to plan their finances more effectively.
This means that beneficiaries will not have to worry about payment until affairs get settled and assets have been distributed. They won’t typically need to budget for upfront legal expenditures.
Fixed fees also enable clients to make better decisions as they can weigh the costs of legal representation against the benefits and drawbacks of winning or losing the case.
With fixed fee billing, the focus is on value rather than billable hours, which aligns with the interest of the client and the law firm. Lawyers are encouraged to work efficiently to add as much value to the client’s case as they can. In a word, fixed fee pricing encourages problem solving.
Minimize Your Worries
If someone inexperienced administers your will, there could be serious problems. For example, if heirs or creditors aren’t paid properly, the administrator could be held liable.
With a probate attorney, all of those details will get taken care of in a professional manner. Any mistakes or omissions are the responsibility of your legal professional and will need to be corrected by them.
In addition, some estates involve disputes between beneficiaries that could take years to resolve. Probate attorneys can handle these in the most efficient manner possible. This will minimize the time you will spend to get assets out of probate, as well as the amount of money that could get spent on prolonged court cases.
Resolve Things Quickly
Probate cases involve a lot of details, and the process could get long and tedious for someone without any legal experience. Beyond that, it will take away from the time they are spending at their own job and with their family.
Probate attorneys will know how to get the process completed quickly and efficiently so beneficiaries can collect their shares of the estate and move on with their lives.
Finding the Right Probate Attorney
While it’s important to hire a probate lawyer, you’ll want to make sure you’re hiring the right one for the job. For example, it’s important to hire a local attorney, since these folks will know all about the specific laws and common legal issues in your area.
You can start by asking for recommendations on social media community group sites. Someone in your neighborhood has likely dealt with a probate attorney in the past and can speak for someone who made the process easy. Don’t be afraid to ask questions once.
Was the individual pleased with how quickly the case was resolved? Were there any problems along the way, and how did the attorney resolve them? Were there any unexpected fees?
After you’ve narrowed down your search, it’s important to check online reviews of the attorneys you’re considering. Are there a number of former clients who had a pain-free experience? Or do you see some repeated comments about problems, such as a failure to communicate properly?
Be sure to find out about your attorney’s fee before you hire them, as well as how and when they would like to get paid. You can also stop by for a free initial consultation.
Ask your prospective attorney if there are any cases similar to yours that they handled. Were there any complications, and how did they manage them? What makes them confident that they can do a good job?
Once you’ve done your research, you can be confident that you’re hiring the right lawyer for your situation.
Help With the Probate Process
No one wants to think about the inevitable, but hiring a probate attorney can really help to smooth out the process. With the right professional and the right approach, you could be enjoying a satisfactory and quick resolution to your estate in no time.
For more information on quality probate lawyers in Minnesota, contact us today.