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  • Do I Need a Lawyer to Guide Me Through Probate Procedures?

    The probate process can be opaque and time-consuming, potentially leading to delays and headaches. The good news is that you do not have to try to navigate probate on your own. You can have an attorney to ease your burden when you are likely dealing with many other things.

    Probate is the process whereby the will is settled. If there is a will, the only way property can be transferred to beneficiaries is through probate. In Virginia, you must go through the circuit court in the county where your loved one lived. At the time you are dealing with probate, you are still handling numerous other details related to the passing of your loved one. You are still expected to meet all the requirements of the probate process.

    Hiring an Attorney Can Make Your Life Easier in Probate

    There is no legal requirement to have a lawyer during the probate process. You could always represent yourself. However, probate is a legal process. There is no extra leeway for someone handling things on their own, so having a lawyer is beneficial.

    You may need help completing all your tasks if you are an estate executor. You also owe a fiduciary duty to the beneficiaries, and you can be personally liable if you make a mistake. You need to sell the property and deal with creditors while handling the paperwork. The probate attorney can act as your advisor, or they could take a more active role in settling the estate affairs.

    If you are a beneficiary of an estate, you may need someone to protect your interests. If there is a lot of property at stake, you may need to keep a close eye on the process and potentially take action if the executor is doing something wrong.

    You May Face Many Challenges in the Probate Process

    Probate can be a very technical process. There is a lot of paperwork to complete, and any mistakes can delay the process. An attorney can prepare the paperwork on your behalf to ensure everything is correct and keep the process moving. A court can reject a filing when technical requirements are not met.

    In some cases, there is always a possibility of family discord. One or more family members may be challenging and could have indicated that they intend to challenge the will.

    In addition to will contests, you could face the following challenges in the probate process:

    • Disputes about the validity of debts.
    • Ambiguities in the language in the will.
    • Complex assets in the estate.
    • Unpaid taxes that the decedent owed.

    The more complicated the estate, the more you need an attorney. You do not want to leave anything to chance. Hiring an attorney is both an investment in the success of the process and a way to reduce your stress level. The attorney can do more than guide you through procedures – they can handle most of the difficult work.

    Contact Our Virginia Beach Estate Lawyers at the Anchor Legal Group, PLLC for Help With the Probate Process

    If your loved one has passed away and you need help with the probate process, our Virginia Beach estate lawyers at the Anchor Legal Group, PLLC can help. Call us today at 757-LAW-0000 or contact us online to schedule a consultation. Located in Virginia Beach, we serve clients in Chesapeake, Norfolk, Suffolk, Portsmouth, Newport News, Hampton, Williamsburg, and Eastern Shore, Virginia.