It’s hard to lose someone you love. It’s even harder if you have the added stress of planning a funeral, closing accounts, moving your loved one’s property, or becoming a caregiver for a spouse, dependent, or pet they left behind.
If you are the executor of your loved one’s estate, this ‘difficult time’ may become completely overwhelming. As an executor, you have the added stress of this legal responsibility, of which you will be liable for any mistakes made during the process.
Remember, just because your loved one named you the executor of the estate doesn’t mean that they expected you to have all the answers. This means that they entrusted you to use all the available resources to make the right decisions on their behalf. That’s why you should consider hiring a probate lawyer.
A probate lawyer is a state-licensed attorney who advises executors and/or beneficiaries of an estate on settling a deceased person’s final affairs.
Here are some points to consider as you contemplate hiring a probate attorney.
Probate lawyers can answer your questions.
No matter the size of the estate, you or the other beneficiaries will undoubtedly have legal questions at some point during the process. Don’t find the answers to complex legal questions from Google. Instead, hire a lawyer who is knowledgeable about the process to advise you.
Probate lawyers can reduce family conflict.
Even the best families may have conflicts arise during emotional times. Hiring a probate attorney is a great way to prevent tense situations from occurring. There will be no question of the executor not properly handling the estate because a legal expert is overseeing the process.
Probate lawyers can help deal with debts.
Did your loved one have debts or a complex financial situation at the time of their passing? Sometimes these debts come out of the estate, but each case is different. A probate attorney will make sure all debts are considered, including taxes, personal loans, and funeral expenses. They will make sure that the estate doesn’t accidentally overpay and will provide the creditors the necessary documents to close the accounts.
Probate lawyers can get the wheels of the process moving faster.
Probating can be a lengthy process. It hardly ever happens faster than three or four months and may take up to a year, but hiring a probate attorney may make the process go much faster.
Some third parties respond faster to requests from lawyers than to those from individuals. This may be because probate lawyers know what documentation is necessary to gain the information they need.
A probate attorney may prevent lawsuits and claims against the estate.
Unfortunately, money sometimes brings out the worst in people. Some use this opportunity to punish others for past wrongs, whether they were intended or not. Having a third party with no financial stakes in the matter may reduce the likelihood of lawsuits and claims against the estate.
When should you hire a probate lawyer?
If you recently lost a loved one, you may be experiencing one of the most stressful times of your life. Instead of struggling through months of phone calls and paperwork, consider hiring a probate attorney who will take care of roadblocks, smooth tensions in the family, and complete the process faster than you would be able to on your own.
For help in the San Antonio area, reach out to Wilson Brown, Attorneys at Law. Our staff handles probate and estate administration cases on behalf of clients in San Antonio and the surrounding areas in southern and central Texas. We use a team approach and work with CPAs and other professionals to ensure that the probate process goes as smoothly and as economically as possible.
The Wilson Brown team is also ready to answer any questions you may have regarding estate planning.
Call 210-591-2398 today for a free consultation.