Can an Elder Law Lawyer Help with Probate?
When you reach out to an estate planning or elder law lawyer, you’re taking an important step to plan out your future – and the future of your family and friends, as well. Your estate is your legacy, and after your death, it will serve as a reminder to your loved ones of all you built for them during your lifetime.
However, your assets aren’t just magically distributed immediately after your death. As an elder law lawyer from a firm like Kaplan Law Practice, LLC can explain, there are several hoops that your beneficiaries must jump through before they see a single cent of what you’ve left behind for them.
Fortunately, when you get together with a qualified elder law lawyer, you can take steps to ensure your estate is divided up according to your best wishes. You and your lawyer will be able to create a will that provides instructions for your assets and beneficiaries, and after your death, your loved ones will be able to focus on grieving, instead of infighting and drama.
When you create a will, your family and friends receive important instructions. However, they won’t be out of the woods yet. Your estate will have to go through probate, and this means its own sets of legal complications. Read on to understand more about probate, and see how an elder law lawyer can keep the process straightforward.
What Does Probate Entail?
Probate is the process that covers how your assets are distributed amongst your beneficiaries. It takes a number of steps before your family and friends receive whatever you’ve left for them, and (of course) there are taxes and fees that have to be paid before any assets are released into their possession.
When you write a will, you and your elder law lawyer can name an executor, a trusted individual who is responsible for following the instructions you’ve left behind. If you don’t name an executor (or you don’t even write a will), the state will choose a representative from amongst your close family. Instead of leaving it to chance, choosing your own executor provides valuable peace of mind, especially when you consider what they’ll have to take care of.
Your executor will have to oversee the probate process, which includes a number of steps. Firstly, your will needs to be authenticated by the state to ensure it’s completely legitimate. Then, the beneficiaries need to be informed of your death and informed that they are listed as beneficiaries. Your assets will need to be found and valued by outside professionals, and taxes and any outstanding debts you may have had before your death will have to be paid off. After all these steps, your assets (or what’s left of them) will be distributed amongst your beneficiaries.
Probate is complicated and oftentimes frustrating. It’s a point of contention for many family members, and there are plenty of opportunities for legal challenges along the way. Fortunately, an elder law lawyer can help make life a little easier for your family and friends.
Contact an Elder Law Lawyer Today
When you create a will, you’re providing important and valuable instructions for your family and friends to follow after your death. However, there are still plenty of chances for infighting.
With the help of an elder law lawyer, you can make sure your will is written in a way that will satisfy your loved ones. And the right elder law lawyer may even be able to help your family avoid probate completely by creating a living trust. Reach out to an elder law lawyer today to plan your family’s future.