In the unfortunate time of death of a loved one, fulfilling the will and distributing the assets are not as simple as they sound. Financial and legal matters like taxes, creditors, mortgages, burial fees, and other final bills are just some of the issues need to be settled by the family or executor with the help of an estate or probate lawyer. Not all of us understand state laws regarding the distribution of assets and probate. To be able to settle matters properly and avoid disputes, a lawyer will be most helpful in providing legal assistance. Here are the roles of an estate or probate lawyer that will prove to be useful in time of need.
Locate, Determine, and Secure the Assets of the Deceased
The last will and testament of the deceased will be helpful in laying down all the assets and properties of the deceased. This will give a snapshot of the deceased’s overall assets. The probate lawyer will then locate all the assets whether it’s a cabin or vacation home, a bank account, or a business investment. Any outstanding debts must also be located and determined to be able to settle any unpaid balances. He or she is responsible for giving notice to creditors of the death of the decedent in order to make necessary arrangements to settle unresolved financial matters.
Also included in the lawyer’s responsibilities is assisting in the preparation of documents, statement of accounts for the audit of court. Any transfer of estates must be documented and prepared. No one can do this best than an estate lawyer who is experienced in this legal process.
Provide Assistance and Advice to Executor living trust attorney
It is not uncommon for family and beneficiaries to have disputes regarding the will and the distribution of assets. To get legal advice and assistance in this case, an executor can feel more confident and secure with a probate lawyer. State laws have its provisions regarding estate administration. In this case, the best way to handle disputes is to rely on the legal process and the knowledge and experience of the lawyer in this area.
Know Your Taxes
Different states and countries have varying laws regarding estate and inheritance taxes. The experienced lawyer can advise you on this. Sometimes, selling the property instead of acquiring it as inheritance will prove to be more practical due to various taxes involved. Estate lawyers will also assist in how and where to get the cash to pay the taxes.
Distribute to Beneficiaries
After taxes, final bills, and other debts are settled, the lawyer is tasked to distribute remaining assets and properties to beneficiaries. This is easy with a last will and testament but without one, a lawyer can get the court’s approval on who will receive the inheritance and how it will be distributed to the heirs of the deceased.