It's not an easy time when a loved one passes on and you now have to deal with their estate. This could mean performing the executor's duties and distributing your loved one's assets in the manner the will states. It could also mean dealing with angry relatives who believe they were shortchanged in the will.
It's hard to deal with these legal issues on your own and you might want to consider hiring a probate attorney to help you through it. Here are the top reasons you should hire a probate lawyer.
The Estate Has Split Assets
In many cases, a loved one, such as a parent, will split their assets among their children and grandchildren. It could be that all the children will receive an equal share of all the available assets, including the house and any bank accounts. It could also be that the will divides the assets into different amounts for each loved one. Some might receive more money or property, while others will receive a lesser amount.
This can cause issues among family members and it can be difficult to divide assets when they are split with only a percentage point to go on. For example, if the will states that a certain family member receives a small percentage of the estate, it's up to the executor to figure out either property or money that will equal that percentage point. A probate attorney can help you work through any split asset issues.
There Is A Lot Of Debt
It's possible that your loved one had a lot of debt when they passed on. Those debts will need to be paid off before anyone can receive their share of the estate. That can be difficult to navigate, especially if much of the estate's wealth is in property and not in liquid money.
A probate lawyer can help you make sure that all debt is paid off. They may be able to help negotiate a payment schedule or even a lower payout to ensure you and the other beneficiaries receive more of the estate.
You will find the same is true if the estate owes a lot in taxes, whether it be property taxes or otherwise. It's also possible that your state has estate taxes that must be paid too. Contact a probate attorney to help you with this process.
The Will Is Contested
One of the top reasons why you should hire a probate attorney is if the will is contested. This can happen when family members disagree with how the estate is distributed. They may feel they were treated unfairly and want their fair share of the estate.
Contact a probate attorney to help you if the will is contested. It is difficult to get a will overturned, but it does happen in certain circumstances so it's best to contact a professional to help.