Making mistakes during probate can make you miss out on your rightful inheritance or pay more in taxes than you need. A probate lawyer can help you avoid these mistakes and make the process go as smoothly as possible. This lawyer is responsible for the legal aspects of the probate process and can help you navigate the maze of paperwork and deadlines. There are a few common mistakes that people make during probate, and a probate lawyer can help you avoid them.
1. Not Filing the Will on Time
One of the most common probate mistakes is not filing the will on time. In most states, there is a deadline for filing a will, and if the will is not filed within that time frame, it may not be considered valid. Furthermore, if the will is not filed on time, the probate court may appoint an administrator to manage the estate, which can lead to additional complications.
Probate lawyers can help you avoid this mistake by ensuring that the will is filed immediately after the decedent's death. They will also help to ensure that all necessary paperwork is filed in a timely manner and that all deadlines are met.
2. Not Naming an Executor
Another common mistake is not naming an executor in the will. The executor is the person who is responsible for carrying out the decedent's wishes as stated in the will. If no executor is named, the probate court will appoint one. This can be a costly and time-consuming process.
A probate lawyer can help you avoid this mistake by ensuring that an executor is named in the will. They can also help to ensure that the executor is qualified to carry out their duties and that they are aware of their responsibilities.
3. Not Opening a Probate Estate
If the value of the decedent's estate is less than the threshold set by state law, it may not be necessary to open a probate estate. However, if the estate is not opened, the beneficiaries will not be able to receive their inheritance.
A probate lawyer can help you determine whether or not it is necessary to open a probate estate. If it is not necessary, they can help ensure that the beneficiaries receive their inheritance without going through the probate process.
4. Not Paying Taxes
Estate taxes are due when the estate's value exceeds the threshold set by state law. If the taxes are not paid, the estate may be subject to seizure by the state.
A probate attorney can help you ensure that all of the necessary taxes are paid and that the estate complies with state law. They can also help to negotiate a payment plan with the tax authorities if necessary.
The probate process often comes when people are still grieving, so it is necessary to have legal counsel in this trying time. Speak to a probate lawyer to see how to go through this process smoothly and with everyone's rights protected.