What is probate?
Probate is a legal process that takes place when a person dies and has left items, material or monetary that need to be taken care of or divided. There are several steps of the probate process, and typically there is a high need for legal counsel to become involved for filing papers, and petitioning the court. The family of the deceased will likely find or be referred to a lawyer that handles probate matters. The family will then set up an initial meeting with the lawyer to determine the next course of action. Each step of the process can be handled by legal counsel; however it is very likely that you will have to provide additional information to the lawyer in order to gain full understanding of the person’s assets and liabilities. The best case scenario is often having a lawyer, such as LA Probate Law, who has worked on the person in questions will, and they will likely already understand the wish of the deceased.
Things to consider
During this difficult time it is often hard for a family to determine what assets and liabilities the deceased individual had at the time of their death. One thing that will be helpful is contacting a LA Probate Law lawyer to help you determine what your next step will be. Your lawyer should be able to point you in the right direction of where to start. If your lawyer does not have a copy of the deceased’s will, and you are unsure of where the document is, then you might have to look through the individuals paperwork at home, or any other filing places such as lockboxes, or safety deposit boxes. These are some common places where a will might be stored. If there is a will available this will be very important to the courts to determine rightful ownership of assets and liabilities. You will need this and possibly other documents to provide proof. LA Probate Law will help dictate what the residing family is responsible for and how a judge may rule in accordance to the State and Federal law. One of the more important documents that will be required by your lawyer of the court system is a death certificate. These are typically given to you at the funeral home, and can be ordered in duplicate. The information might depend on the State but typically, unless there are delaying circumstances, the death certificate is a document that is provided quickly.
What to give your Lawyer
There are several things that you will want to provide to your lawyer in the event that you are filing probate with the court. These documents will help you and your lawyer to sort through the probate on your deceased loved one with ease. You will need to provide documentation of a will, and be prepared to provide copies. The court will then determine the validity of the will and see how it will play out for the assets and liabilities of the deceased. You will also need to provide an inventory of the deceased person’s property. This will help your LA Probate Law lawyer to determine if any of the inventories is stated in the will. If it is, then the lawyer may ask that the item be placed in the possession of the firm or individual that it is said to belong to after the death. Any personal property, including real estate, jewelry, or other items may require an appraisal to determine the value of said item. Property appraisals are very important for the probate, in order to known if the deceased property will be taken by the bank, or if another party of the family has rights to it. Your lawyer will also need to know if the deceased had any outstanding debts, such as a mortgage, or other large liabilities. The lawyers will also need to know if there are any other individuals that show as owners or co-borrowers on these items and if they are deceased or living. Your lawyer should also advise and assist you for filing final taxes on any property or earnings. This can be done before the end of the tax year and there are special documents that will need to accompany the return.
What happens next?
Your LA Probate Law will have your lawyer take you through the steps of the will or state law of what happens to the deceased individual’s assets and liabilities. If there is a will, it may be stated very specifically what is to happen to these items, and who would be appointed specific things. For example, one person might be given rights to a property, while another rights to a bank account. These types of items left in a will may require more extensive paperwork. You may want to consider how these items will affect you financially. Be prepared to wait for the items to turn over into a family member’s possession. These types of transactions can take months to complete and often times require the lawyer to go to court multiple times, which can be more costly for you. Typically, probate involves paperwork and court appearances by lawyers. The lawyers and court fees are paid from estate property, which would otherwise go to the people who inherit the deceased person’s property. Contacting your lawyer to ask about expenses for these types of transaction may be wise.
What is probate?
Latest posts by Scott Schomer, Estate Planning Attorney (see all)
- What are the Advantages and Disadvantages of a Living Trust? - January 15, 2019
- Why Avoid Probate? - January 10, 2019
- When Do I Need a Tax ID Number for a Trust? - January 9, 2019