If you are an executor of an estate or a guardian of a child, then you need to speak with a probate lawyer. There are many areas of estate planning where the help of a legal professional is essential.
This article will explain some most common reasons people need to hire a probate lawyer.
1) Estate Structuring
Estate structuring is organizing your assets to minimize taxes and maximize benefits for your heirs. It can be a complicated process, and it’s best to leave it to the professionals. That’s where a probate attorney comes in.
Estate structuring involves creating different trusts and setting up beneficiary designations for your assets. A lawyer can help you choose the right type of trust for your situation and ensure all your assets are appropriately designated. It can save your heirs’ money in taxes and ensure that they receive the full benefit of your estate.
One thing to keep in mind when doing estate planning is that there are often multiple ways to achieve the same result. For example, you might want to set up a trust to avoid probate, but there are other ways. Your probate attorney can help you weigh all your options and choose the best course of action for your situation.
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2) Estate Administration
It is the process of gathering the assets, paying the debts, and distributing the assets of a deceased person. The administrator is named in the will or is appointed by the court if there is no will.
If you are an estate executor, you may need legal help to:
– file probate paperwork with the court
– understand your responsibilities as executor or administrator
– gather and value assets
– pay debts and taxes
– distribute assets according to the will or intestacy rules (if there is no will)
You may also need legal help if you are a beneficiary under a will and you:
– want to contest the will; or
– think that the estate has not been administered properly.
3) Powers of Attorney
A power of attorney is a particular document that gives someone else the power to make decisions on your behalf.
You may need help from a lawyer to prepare or understand a power of attorney. For example, you may need help if:
– you want to give someone the authority to make financial and legal decisions for you
– you want to revoke or cancel a power of attorney
– you are unsure about your legal rights and obligations under a power of attorney
– someone is trying to force you to sign a power of attorney against your will
– you want to challenge the validity of a power of attorney.
A lawyer can help you understand your duties and obligations or help you resolve a dispute with the person who appointed you.
4) Guardianship Dispute
If you are in a place where someone is contesting your guardianship of a minor child, you will need to call a probate attorney. This lawyer can help you navigate the legal system and present your case in court.
A probate lawyer can help you plan your estate and ensure that your assets are distributed according to your wishes. In addition, they can help you manage the probate process and represent you in court if necessary. Contact an expert attorney to discuss your options if you consider estate planning.