Emotional healing, sorting personal possessions, and funeral expenses – life after the death of loved ones come with a set of challenges, but negotiating over money or property should not be one of them. According to experts, more or less $30 trillion will be inherited by people in the United States in the next 30 to 40 years.
And given the culture we are now living in, a money-motivated culture. No wonder grandchildren and children are just waiting for a handout from the estate. Hiring probate lawyers can help steer clear of these problems related to probating wills. It also provides family members peace of mind in their final days. Here are some things people need to do when hiring probate lawyers and how it can help salvage family relationships.
Choose estate probate and planning lawyer based on the situation
Having a plan in place is the first thing people need to do when it comes to this matter. No two estates or wills are the same. Wishes will vary from person to person. And everyone places a different value on things. Some individuals leave money, property, and other valuable items to friends and family members.
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While others have special requests, depending on the age of the person making the will, they may need to choose a legal representative or guardian for their children in their will. Find a probate lawyer that specializes in their kind of estate planning. Some legal counsel is pretty skilled in handling real estate or large amounts of money.
If the person owns a business or a family house, this kind of probate attorney and estate planning is best. A lot of individuals make the mistake of hiring lawyers who do part-time probate or estate planning. Avoid these people whenever possible.
After all, individuals would not hire a heart surgeon who only performs dental surgery. And they should not hire a lawyer who is just immersed in estate planning. Find a legal counsel specializing in the services you needed, professionals who are experienced in the type of situation you are in.
Are the professionals sympathetic to the client’s needs?
Like other businesses, a probate and planning lawyer is providing services that people are paying for. But probating wills are about more than just the real estate or money aspect of things. Find legal counsels who are available, compassionate, and sympathetic.
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If they are dealing with these types of attorneys, it means they are also dealing with the loss of their loved ones. During these times, emotions are pretty high. People need legal counsel who can patiently answer countless questions without anger or irritation. Listed below are signs that the probate attorney may not be the best fit for this situation.
- Unanswered questions and phone calls
- Making quick or rushed decisions
- Details of the process are not adequately explained
- They are always unavailable
- They are insensitive to the client’s situation
A reputable legal counsel will show the following characteristics:
- Always available with the information
- Does not take sides in the process
- Always available to answer all the client’s question
- Explains the process in detail
- Very sympathetic to the client’s needs and their recent loss
People need to use their gut instinct when it comes to choosing a probate legal counsel. While getting through the process should be smooth and swift, it should not be rushed. Do not be afraid to interview a couple of Bay Area probate attorneys before making their final decision.
Collect the necessary paperwork
The process does not fall squarely on the legal counsel’s shoulders. Clients need to bring necessary and valuable information to the table. The more prepared and organized people are, the smoother the probate process will go. It holds true for both before and after the process. If a person has been named by the deceased as the executor of the will and is entering the process, they need to bring the following documents to their first meeting.
- The last will and testament of the deceased person and any supplementary documents
- A copy of the person’s death certificate
- Financial documents like bank statements
- A compiled list of the person’s assets and liabilities
- A thorough list of the names, addresses, as well as contact information for people named in the will and testament
The executor may not have all the information listed above readily available for their first meeting, which is normal. But the more information they can collect, the less question their legal counsel will have.
Be very realistic about possible resistance from other family members
A drama inside the family is very common during this kind of process. Even a very detailed will and testament are picked apart and questioned based on entitlement and greed. Does the person have strained relationships with their other siblings? Do their loved ones leave all their possessions to a single person or family member?
If the client sense there is a problem ahead when it comes to carrying out their loved one’s will and testament, they are probably right. Sharing critical information with the legal counsel is crucial. While the client cannot prevent their family members from contesting the dead person’s will and testament, knowing they may meet problems or resistance can help both the client and the lawyer prepare the necessary information, as well as plan the solution for the difficulties ahead.
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They can collect more documents that can support what is already outlined in the will and testament. The executor is responsible for distributing the money, assets, and property according to the will of the deceased. But the executor will also be responsible for paying off the creditors and any debts of the deceased.
It can be a pretty stressful position. Being given the executor’s responsibility means the deceased person trusted you when it comes to carrying out their last will and testament. But do not be surprised if this responsibility will put you in a very difficult position with other family members.