Wills and estate planning represent a delicate issue. We don’t want to think about death whether it’s our own or the death of someone in our family. On top of that, we’re certainly not eager to plan for what happens after.
However, it’s best to start thinking about these issues sooner rather than later. A probate lawyer can help you put together a will and make the whole process a lot easier.
Even if an individual has not created a will and passes away, a probate/estate lawyer can still help. These questions will help you determine if you need one.
1. Do You Have a Will?
Some might say you can write the will yourself. However, that’s not always the best idea.
Failure to make a will that is legally sound can lead to liability lawsuits.
It’s best to ask for the advice of a probate lawyer who has the required expertise to ensure there won’t be any issues later on. The sooner you have the will written down, the quicker you’ll get this out of the way and put your worries to rest.
2. How Large Is Your Estate?
For the majority of all properties in the US, people don’t need to pay the federal estate tax.
However, depending on how large your estate is, you may be required to pay the federal tax. This is where a probate lawyer can help you. They will file the estate tax return so you can rest assured everything is in check.
3. Can the Estate Cover All the Debts?
We know this is an uncomfortable question for many people, but it’s a important one.
If you’re not sure if there will be enough money, then you should consider consulting a probate lawyer.
Even though some debts may be more urgent than others, it’s best not to take any action before discussing with an estate lawyer.
4. Can the Assets of a Deceased Person Be Transferred without a Probate?
The answer to this question depends entirely on whether the deceased did any estate planning.
Here are the most common assets that don’t need the help of a probate lawyer to be transferred:
- Assets held in joint tenancy or in a living trust
- Tenancy by the entirety
- Survivorship community property
- Retirement accounts or life insurance policies that have a beneficiary
5. How Is the Relationship between Family Members?
If you know there is tension in your family, then there will most likely be disputes when it comes to your assets.
A family member threatening to sue the estate is not something you should ignore.
A court battle is the last thing anybody would want. If you suspect something like this might happen, consult an estate lawyer as soon as possible.
Finding a Trustworthy Probate Lawyer
Based on your answers to the questions above, you probably know by now whether you need an estate lawyer or not.
If you’re in need of one, look no further. We are specialized in probate, power of attorney, will preparation and estate litigation.
The commitment we make to our clients and future clients is to protect their assets and ensure a smooth transition of wealth.
Call us at 780 459 5596 if you want to discuss your specific legal matter, or send us a message here.