If you’re consulting with an estate attorney, you’re in two possible situations: 1) you’ve decided that it’s the right thing to do to start planning for the future; or 2) a loved one has very recently passed away and you’re trying to find out what the next step is in settling their estate. Unfortunately, most people tend to be in the second position, choosing to have either waited too long to prepare for, or never actually gone through with, end-of-life planning. It’s not the best spot to be in.
This is true for a number of reasons. The main reason estate attorneys are trying to get the word out to people about getting your affairs in order is that you want to try and avoid probate. This is a step in the process of settling an estate when a last will and testament is authenticated. While this sounds pretty basic in theory, there is actually more to the process, and if there is scant documentation at best, it could be a very long process.
Here are some of the other things your estate attorney wished you know about probate:
Involves Paying Taxes and Bills ⏤ Money will have to come out to make sure all remaining bills, debts, and taxes are paid off and settled.
Authentication of Final Documents Isn’t Always Smooth ⏤ Not only does there have to be certain language to the final documents, but there may be a need to get sworn statements from witnesses to the documents being verified. Keep in mind that objections about whether the will belongs in probate due to bad legal language, a more recent document, or even a problem with an appointed executor.
It Can Cost You Money ⏤ The longer probate lasts, the more legal fees can actually start draining the estate, leaving beneficiaries less.
Finding the right estate attorney will be crucial in making sure your estate planning is well-organized and covers all possible matters. Your attorney will provide ample explanations for any issue that should arise, but they’ll also be able to provide a solution. You owe it to your loved ones to make these decisions early as they can prove to be emotionally crushing, and even financially devastating, later down the line.
Finding an excellent estate attorney in Laguna Beach, CA is as easy as contact The Law Office of Daniel R. Weiner.