If you've been named the executor of the estate for a person who is deceased, you may be a bit confused about the process ahead of you. Although the distribution of an estate through a will is typically painted as a pretty straightforward process in the movies, it's not always as simple in real life. That's why it may be in your best interest to hire a probate attorney. Use this information to learn two signs that you should get a probate lawyer on your side as soon as possible.
Did The Deceased Person Have A Lot Of Debt?
One of the first signs that you'll need a probate attorney is when the deceased individual passes away with a lot of debt. This can cause a number of problems if it isn't handled correctly.
If the deceased individual was aware of their pending death and took steps to settle up with creditors, you may find that less of the estate must be sold so that the debtors can be paid off. However, if the departed did not take the right measures, a significant portion of the estate could be eaten up, leaving the beneficiaries with little to nothing if the debts are great enough.
That's why you should hire a probate attorney. They can serve as your legal representation, and even negotiate any debts on your behalf. Some probate lawyers also work closely with financial planners who can advise you concerning the best way to allocate the assets so that you can minimize the total amount that will need to be paid in debts and taxes.
Are The Beneficiaries Amicable?
Another sign that you'll need to retain a probate attorney is when the beneficiaries aren't getting along. Few things can get in the way of relationships like money, and if you notice that the people who are named to benefit from the estate are developing animosity among themselves, it's time to bring in the probate attorney.
Your attorney will draw up the necessary forms to make sure that everyone is aware of just what they'll be getting. Once they've agreed in a written, contractual form, any dissenters will have less of a leg to stand on should they later decide to sue the estate.
Looking out for these signs is the best way to ensure that your probate experience is a success. If any one of these symptoms crops up, hire a probate attorney right away.