Death can bring many changes, heartaches, and a lifetime of grief. However, not many people stop to think about the logistics death can bring. There are income taxes, debts, bank accounts, mortgages, estates, and many other logistical aspects to iron out after someone has passed on. If you haven't had someone close to you die, you are probably unfamiliar with probate and the role of a probate litigation attorney.
What is Probate?
In order to understand what the role of a probate lawyer is, you must first understand that probate is the process of distributing assets and paying off debts of a deceased person. This process must happen with every deceased individual's estate, regardless of whether or not they had a will. A probate lawyer helps tremendously in this process. Depending on the estate and affairs of the deceased family member or friend, probate law can be simple and quick, or it can be more complicated and more of a process to be worked through. The more debts or assets a deceased person had, the more time consuming and complicated this process can be.
What Does a Probate Litigation Attorney Do?
Probate litigation deals with legal disputes regarding aging, death, and disabilities. Probate litigation attorneys help in legal battles surrounding people who are still alive with issues such as guardianships and conservatorships, powers of attorney, patient advocate designations, as well as living wills.
In addition, probate litigation lawyers help with issues when someone has passed on, such as estates, asset disputes, trusts, wills, joint bank accounts, gifts, and pretty much anything else a family may be feuding about when someone has died. These types of lawyers work a lot to help families who are trying to protect a loved one and their assets and to recover property. They assist in the preparation and filing of documents required in a probate court. They can also help clear up confusion regarding income taxes and the deceased and being able to retitle the assets of the deceased to their rightful beneficiaries.
If someone you love has passed away and you need help with their estate, it may be helpful to hire a probate attorney. These types of attorneys can come alongside you and help sort out the confusion or disagreements between family members. They can fight to protect the assets of your loved one and make sure that property is legally distributed to its rightful beneficiaries.
Probate courts are responsible for overseeing the probate process, mainly to include paying any debts that are owed at the time of death and sorting out whatever is leftover among beneficiaries. Probate courts are state courts and not federal courts. This means the probate process and requirements can vary from one state to the next. A probate lawyer is familiar with the requirements and can help prepare for a future death, or deal with one that has already happened.
You can also make your own death easier on your loved ones by creating a last will and testament with a probate lawyer. Working with a probate attorney can create peace of mind for you and your family, whether you have recently experienced a death in the family, or are planning for your own eventual death.
RELATED: For additional information regarding probate attorneys visit: http://www.probate.com/