LA Probate Law: Settling an Estate
When a family is suffering through the loss of a loved one the process of grief and the amount of stress that they are under can understandably feel like more than one can bear. There are so many hard decisions that they are faced with during this time when they feel least able to cope with or make them. Seeking the help of a lawyer who has experience and knowledge in LA Probate Law can be a tremendous help and stress reliever for the family. Settling an estate and go into the process of probate can seem like an overwhelming task during this time. The laws surrounding probate are complex and almost always need a professional opinion and direction to be gotten through. For the average person this area of law is not one that can be or should be navigated on your own especially during a time when your mind is not always in the right place. Grief and bereavement is a heady burden for any family to carry and it is not something that anybody is ever really prepared for. This can make the task of settling one’s assets in property overwhelming. Finding a qualified probate lawyer can help take away some of this added stress and allow your family to grieve with any extra worries.
There are reasons behind hiring a probate lawyer. One of the biggest reasons is that no matter how much you are grieving or what your circumstances may be the law stands still and waits for no-one. When a person dies there’s a time frame in which there a state has to be settled. It is usually determined through a Last Will and Testament who will be responsible for settling this estate. When a person has been named in the Will to complete this task they are considered and called the executor of the estate. As this person goes through the probate proceeding, the process of proving the validity of the will, the court will appoint the executor of the estate to be the personal representative of said estate. The executor’s first and most important job and top priorities is to hire a lawyer who is knowledgeable in LA Probate Law. If the person who has passed away did not have a Will the state will then step in and according to their statutes divide up the estate property. As with any law these vary state by state and the allocation of all the estate’s property or assets will be dealt with as these laws allow according to the states the deceased lived and. Because of this finding and hiring a probate lawyer from the deceased’s own state is of the utmost importance. That way you can ensure that the lawyer knows the state laws and how to best handle your case. If all of the assets of these states are titled in a trust’s name the entire probate process is avoided. This allows for the distribution of assets to be done with more privacy, less cost and in a quicker manner.
No estate is exactly alike and they each have unique assets that need to be valued, sold or distributed to the beneficiaries of the estate. When the executor takes over prior to taking any action as listed above here she should consult with a lawyer who is experienced in LA Probate Law. This can avoid many mistakes that once done are difficult to reverse and fix. Settling in a state can sometimes take a good amount of time, anywhere from nine months to several years before it is paid out in full and completely close. Having a lawyer at your side can both speed the process up as well as guide you through taking care of this task. There are guidelines that you must follow in time frames that you must work within so seeking help from somebody who knows what they are doing is going to be your best solution. Another advantage of having and dealing with a probate attorney who has experience and knowledge is that they can help protect the executor from any legal or financial liability concerning the estate. If by chance a mistake is made and the estate is mishandled, be it a mistake or intentional, the replications can be severe and lawsuits can be brought against the executor himself. The executor is held to the highest standards in this situation, your duty is loyalty to the estate. You should discuss with your probate lawyer what this entails and how to best go about the situation and avoid any problems for you in the future. Sometimes the best of intentions in this type of situation old can lead to huge problems. An example of this is the executor allowing a friend or a family member of the deceased to utilize their property such as the deceased car, this can expose the state to liability in the instance of an accident or damage. The executor must be careful and not give in to pressures from family members as this can lead to over-distributing assets to one beneficiary and finding yourself short on funds to pay the remaining beneficiaries their share or being able to close the estate and pay its final expenses.
If any mistakes are made, such as those listed above, the executor may be liable and held responsible for making up the difference a day of their own personal funds in order to pay any of the expenses that have gone unpaid. Having an experienced probate lawyer at your side who knows LA Probate Law can help prevent this and any other mistakes from happening. Anybody who tries to go through this process alone without the help of a probate lawyer can put themselves in legal jeopardy and very possibly financial jeopardy as well.
LA Probate Law: Settling an Estate
Latest posts by Scott Schomer, Estate Planning Attorney (see all)
- SALT Deduction Limit…Can You Get Around It? - February 4, 2019
- What Can a Los Angeles Probate Attorney Do For You? - February 3, 2019
- 5 Great Tips for Long Beach Probate Court Administration - February 1, 2019