When a loved one passes away, the pain can be immeasurable. The grief process is different for everyone, but most people have difficulty coping and adjusting to the loss of someone they care about.
Unfortunately, the legal system is not necessarily set up to accommodate grieving. For example, soon after someone passes away, their estate must go through the probate process. This legal system makes sure that a will is legally sound and the deceased doesn’t owe any debt to the state. In addition, this process ensures that an estate is not left sitting after someone passes away.
The probate process can be long and complicated. It can be hard to assemble all required documents, and slight errors can result in weeks of delays. This is not conducive to a mourning family.
Though the probate process is necessary, it can be easier if you know what to expect. In addition, understanding how probate works in Redlands, California, makes the entire process much easier to handle.
Probate is the process that happens after a person passes away. The state courts review the deceased’s will and settle any tax debt. If the will is valid, they pass it onto the will’s executor. The executor then distributes the assets to the beneficiaries as outlined in the will document.
If no executor is outlined in the will, the state will assign one. If no will can be located, or if one was not made, the state decides who gets the estate. Generally, it is passed on to the deceased’s next of kin.
A large part of the court process for probate is to set up the executor to distribute the deceased’s assets. This is why the court ensures that the will is valid and legally binding so that the executor can properly carry out the will of the deceased.
Unfortunately, the distribution process is not always easy. Families can easily get into arguments about assets, even if the family usually is civil and well-mannered. Grief and greed can converge during this process, making things difficult for the executor and unpleasant for the family. If the executor is a family member, things can get even more complicated.
This situation is compounded if the deceased didn’t leave a will. Despite what the family may believe to be best, the assets fall to the next of kin in this scenario. This is usually a spouse first and children second. This can be problematic in a few ways. For example, if the deceased passed away during their second marriage and didn’t leave a will, their assets would fall to their second spouse. This spouse can then do what they please with the assets and leave them to their own family members if they so choose. In addition, if the deceased had biological children from the first marriage, they could be entirely bypassed by the probate process. The court has standard procedures for these situations, and they are not always in the best interest of those involved.
Like many areas of the legal system, there can be significant delays in the probate process. This often occurs when the will cannot be located or other essential documents are missing. These pauses in the process can last weeks, months, or even years under the right circumstances.
For many people, a delay in the probate system is a threat to their survival. If a spouse or children are waiting to inherit assets that allow them to keep their home or pay their bills, a delay
can mean falling into significant debt.
One of the very best things you can do for your probate process is to hire a probate lawyer to help you. We are experts in this field and understand the intricacies that may slow or halt the process. A probate attorney can help you to assemble the necessary documents and ensure that the legal process moves as smoothly and swiftly as it can. We can also help explain anything that occurs in court and make sure that the legal system is fair and impartial in your case.
After probate court, a probate attorney can help the executor interpret the will. Sometimes, legal jargon or complicated terms can make the whole thing more difficult. Your probate attorney can help to advise you on any terms you don’t understand and give you the resources to execute the will with confidence.
Finally, a probate attorney can help to oversee the transfer of assets. Moving large assets around can be a difficult task and involves significant legal support. For example, beneficiaries may need to file special tax forms or go through specific processes to claim ownership of an asset. A probate lawyer can be on hand for all of this, advising your family and helping with the transitional period.
Probate attorneys exist to help the families of the deceased handle the complicated legal process that follows a death. With proper help, you can execute probate seamlessly and give yourself time and space to grieve.
Our team at Sweeney Probate Law has decades of direct experience in probate. Probate law and estate planning are the only areas of law that we practice, meaning we have a comprehensive and firm understanding of the laws at hand. No matter your situation, question, or concern, we have the expertise and the experience to help you through it.
We have helped thousands of families with their probate processes during our decades in business. Though we have this experience, we approach every situation with kindness and empathy; no matter how many times we help a grieving family, it may be your first time losing a loved one. This is why we strive to provide thorough legal services with unparalleled humanity and compassion.
If you need a probate attorney to help with your deceased loved one’s estate, we are here to serve you. Contact us online today for more information or to schedule a consultation with us.