Dealing with a loved one's estate after their passing can be more challenging than you expect. Probate is the legal process that deals with a person's estate after their death. This process ensures that their will is valid, or in the event that there is no will, it ensures that the deceased's assets are distributed properly. Probate also deals with any taxes that may be due. This legal process varies from one state to the next. Even with a will and clear instructions in place, you will still likely want to hire a probate lawyer during this time. Here are three things to know.
What A Probate Lawyer Does
The first thing that you should know is what a probate attorney can do for you. If there is a will in place, a probate lawyer can advise either an executor or a beneficiary of the will. If there is evidence that the will was written under duress and is not valid, then a legal challenge may be necessary. When there is no will, a probate lawyer can help you with the intestacy laws of the state where the deceased's property resides. What happens to their estate will depend on state law.
How Much It Will Cost
Another thing that you should consider is the cost of probate lawyer services. How much you will pay your probate attorney will depend on where you live and how long you require their services. Most probate lawyers charge by the hour. However, some may charge a flat fee. In rare cases, a probate lawyer may collect a percentage of the estate. Probate lawyer fees typically range between $150 and $200 per hour with urban lawyers charging higher rates than rural ones. Specialists may also charge more. In most cases, a probate lawyer's fees will come out of the estate, not out of your pocket.
They Can Help You Avoid A Court Battle
Losing a loved one is a very emotional event. Unfortunately, during the time after death, family members may disagree on what to do with an estate. These disagreements sometimes end in drawn-out legal battles. Hiring a probate lawyer can help you avoid a future legal battle. They can work with your family to settle disputes out of court and ensure that the deceased's wishes are being honored.
Hiring a probate lawyer is something that you should consider after a loved one dies. Probate lawyers can help you navigate the process of probate, something that can vary from state to state. The cost of a probate lawyer varies, but most charge hourly fees. Often, the estate pays for the probate lawyer. Using a probate lawyer is also a fantastic way to prevent legal battles with family members.