What Does a Probate Lawyer Do?
As much as we love our job here at Caitlyn Ashley Law, we understand that the estate planning strategies and legal processes we see all the time are things our clients know little about and, in some cases, have been told by others to avoid at all costs. At the top of that list is probate. In fact, we’re often asked, “What is it, and what does a probate lawyer do?”
Probate is the legal process that comes after a person dies. It ensures their estate is settled legally and according to their wishes. A probate lawyer’s job is to guide you through that process and do all the heavy lifting so that you don’t have to.
Probate Lawyers are state-licensed attorneys, and their duties can include but are not limited to:
• Represent an heir to an estate or the personal representative of the estate in court
• Prepare and file all documents required by the probate court
• Distribute assets and inheritances
• Collect proceeds from life insurance policies, help pay debts and bills, resolve income tax issues, etc.
• Order property appraisals
When probate is necessary, get the help you need
The probate process is not always necessary, depending on the assets your loved one leaves behind and the family dynamic, probate might be required or recommended. It is important to consult a probate attorney after a loved one dies to determine the best course of action.
Probate can be avoided with estate planning tools like a living trust. If it is determined that probate is necessary it is important that your loved one left behind a valid Will. If there is no Will, the probate process will be much more complicated as the Court must determine the legal heirs of the deceased person.
All the court is trying to do is determine who is the rightful owner of a deceased person’s assets, which can include everything from money to physical property, precious family heirlooms, and other items of value. But that doesn’t make the process less overwhelming, complicated, and scary.
This is where a qualified and compassionate probate lawyer, also known as an estate attorney, can help.
Regardless of how necessary probate may be, no one should go through the process alone.
Call Caitlyn Ashley Law today!!
Having a plan for the future is the most important gift you can give yourself and your family. Granted, none of us will ever know for sure what is around every corner in life. And just thinking about the what-ifs — what if I were to die or become incapacitated tomorrow; what if my child with special needs has no one to care for her; what if all my “stuff” isn’t passed onto the right people — can be overwhelming. But having a plan that accounts for your family’s unique circumstances, puts your affairs in order, has concrete solutions to your concerns, lays out your wishes and goals, and protects your family’s future provides peace of mind for the road ahead.
Caitlyn Ashley Law in Denton, Texas, will counsel you on which documents best suit your needs and ensure they are flexible enough to meet your changing needs for years to come.