July 6, 2023

Probate Attorney: Why Would I Need One?

Losing a loved one is never easy, and dealing with the legalities of their estate can add an extra layer of stress. For this reason, hiring a probate lawyer can be an invaluable asset. 

The reason? An experienced probate attorney can help you navigate the complex probate court process, ensure your loved one’s wishes are honored, and provide guidance and support during such an emotional time.

Before we explore why you may need to hire a probate attorney, let’s review the basics of probate and what its court proceedings may entail.

What Is Probate?

Probate is a legal process that occurs after someone passes. It involves the court system validating and executing the deceased person’s will. During probate, assets are identified, debts are paid off, and any remaining property is distributed to the beneficiaries named in the will. 

Probate aims to ensure that the deceased’s wishes are carried out and that their property is distributed fairly.

What Is Probate Court?

Probate court oversees the legal proceedings to ensure everything is done according to the law and to the deceased person’s wishes. 

It can be a complex and time-consuming process, which is why many people choose to hire a probate lawyer to guide them through it.

The Role & Responsibilities of a Probate Attorney

A probate lawyer is a legal professional who specializes in probate law. They can help you navigate the legalities of the probate court and ensure that your loved one’s wishes are honored. 

A probate lawyer can assist with many essential tasks, including:

  • Filing paperwork
  • Identifying and valuing assets
  • Notifying beneficiaries and creditors
  • Paying debts and taxes
  • Distributing assets to beneficiaries

They can also provide guidance and support throughout the process, making it less overwhelming for you and your family. Simply put, hiring a probate attorney could help save time, money, and stress in the long run.

Top 5 Reasons for Probate

Many people ask us: “Do I need a probate lawyer if there is no will?” The answer is yes, but this is just one of many reasons why probate can occur. 

Other scenarios include:

  1. The deceased person did not have an estate plan in place.
  2. The will or estate plan was not properly executed or is being contested.
  3. The deceased person’s assets were not properly titled or owned jointly with another person.
  4. The deceased person had outstanding debts or taxes that need to be paid before their assets can be distributed.
  5. The deceased person owned property in multiple states or countries.

Do I Need Probate if I am the Sole Beneficiary?

If you are the sole beneficiary, you may not necessarily need to go through the probate process. However, consulting with a probate attorney to determine whether probate is necessary in your specific case is still a good idea. They can provide you with guidance and help you understand your options. Additionally, an attorney can help ensure the process goes smoothly and your interests are protected.

Types of Probate Cases

Several probate cases exist, including the following: 

  • Informal Administration: This is the lowest level of Court supervision and can be an effective way to property administer a person’s Estate.
  • Formal Unsupervised Administration: This is the middle level of Court supervision and involves filing additional documents with the Court verifying certain financial information from the person’s Estate.
  • Formal Supervised Administration: This is the highest level of Court supervision and requires Court approval of all financial decisions of the person’s Estate.

Working with an experienced probate lawyer can help you determine which type of probate case is appropriate for your situation.

Why Would I Need a Probate Attorney?

The probate process can be complex and overwhelming, especially for those unfamiliar with the legal system.  Therefore, a probate lawyer can ensure that all legal requirements are met, help you avoid costly mistakes, and provide guidance and support throughout the entire process. 

They can also help you navigate any disputes among beneficiaries or creditors. So, it goes without saying that hiring a probate lawyer can provide peace of mind and ensure your loved one’s wishes are honored.

If you still need to decide whether or not you need a probate attorney, there are a few key things to consider. 

  • First, think about the size and complexity of the estate in question. If the estate is relatively small and straightforward, you may be able to handle the probate process on your own. 

However, if the estate is larger or more complex, it may be in your best interest to seek the guidance of a probate attorney to ensure everything is handled properly. 

  • Second, suppose there are any disputes or challenges to the will or estate. In that case, an attorney can provide you with legal representation and support to navigate these challenges effectively and protect your interests. 

Ultimately, hiring a probate attorney will depend on your unique circumstances. Still, it’s always a smart idea to consult an experienced attorney to help you make an informed decision.

Find a Probate Attorney You Can Trust

When it comes to probate proceedings, it’s crucial to have an experienced and knowledgeable attorney by your side. That’s where KTF Law Firm comes in. 

With years of experience in estate planning and probate law, our team of attorneys is dedicated to helping you achieve a successful outcome. So, if you have questions or need assistance with the process, contact KTF Law Firm to speak with an attorney today. Your first consultation is free!

Elderly couple smiling together in home.
Share with a Friend