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Don't Be In The Dark About Our Legal System

Hello, I'm Karla Mitchell. Going through a legal case can be very expensive and challenging. I won't go into details, but I recently underwent my own legal battle that lasted several years. It is finally over and I successfully received a settlement, but I had to spend so much time studying law in order to play my role in my own court case. While I found a great attorney at one point, I felt completely lost initially and I don't want anyone else to experience the same thing. So I decided to create this blog for those who would like to know more about law.


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Don't Be In The Dark About Our Legal System

When To Hire A Probate Attorney: Key Indicators

by Andrew Martin

The probate process, which involves administering a deceased person's estate, can be complex and emotionally challenging. While it's possible to navigate probate independently in some straightforward cases, there are situations when hiring a probate attorney becomes necessary. Here are some signs that you should consider engaging a probate lawyer.

Large Estate with Complicated Assets

If the deceased left behind a large estate with various types of assets — such as multiple properties, business interests, or substantial investments — the probate process can become complicated. A probate attorney can help manage these complexities, ensuring all assets are properly accounted for, appraised, and distributed according to the decedent's wishes.

Disputes Among Beneficiaries

One clear sign you need a probate attorney is if there are disputes among the beneficiaries or potential heirs. Conflicts can arise over the interpretation of the will, the value of assets, or the distribution of the estate. An attorney can provide neutral guidance, mediate conflicts, and if necessary, represent your interests in court.

Insufficient Funds to Pay Debts

If the estate doesn't have enough funds to pay off all debts, it's considered insolvent. Dealing with an insolvent estate can be tricky, as there are specific laws about which debts should be paid first. A probate attorney can help navigate this situation, ensuring you follow legal protocols and minimize personal liability.

The Will Is Contested

If someone contests the validity of the will, you definitely need a probate attorney. Contesting a will can lead to a court battle, and you'll need professional legal help to navigate the litigation process.

Estate Includes a Business

If the decedent owned a business, the probate process becomes more complex. Decisions may need to be made about the continuation or dissolution of the business, and how it's handled can affect the value of the estate. A probate attorney with experience in business succession can provide invaluable advice.

Real Estate in Multiple States

If the deceased owned properties in different states, probate proceedings may need to be conducted in multiple jurisdictions. This is known as ancillary probate, and it can be complex and time-consuming. A probate attorney can guide you through this process, coordinating with attorneys in other states if needed.

Complex Family Situation

If the deceased had a complex family situation — such as multiple marriages, estranged family members, or minor children — the probate process can get complicated. A probate attorney will be able to help make sure that all legal requirements are met and all parties' rights are protected.

Contact a probate attorney for more information.