Going through probate or administrating a loved one’s trust or estate can be complicated. It is a process you should not have to manage on your own, especially while grieving the loss of someone close to you. There are probate obligations that need to be met, affairs to be finalized, bills to pay, and property to transfer. Even if a will or trust seems to be clear, it is normal to feel overwhelmed, stressed, or confused. There are many reasons to contact a Virginia Beach probate administration lawyer to assist you with the complex tasks to ensure it all goes smoothly.
Often, people assume that if a loved one dies with or without a will probate can be avoided. The reality is that in either situation, the deceased’s estate will have to go through probate.
What is Probate?
“Probate” is a legal term often used in conjunction with a Last Will, estate, or trust. Probate is the judicial process of validating a will or dividing property according to state law if no will exists. Under judicial supervision, a decedent’s assets are gathered, taxes and claims are paid, and distribution to beneficiaries is made.
Probate can be a difficult process for several reasons, including the following:
- It typically takes between 12 and 16 months.
- Various costs, such as filing fees, add up.
- It is a public process, meaning anyone can look up the assets and distribution.
Unless the deceased planned ahead to avoid probate, it is something that will have to be dealt with. An experienced probate administration lawyer will handle an otherwise tedious and complex process to give you the peace of mind you need during an emotional time.
What Can a Probate Administration Lawyer Do For Me?
If you have been named an executor, personal representative, or trustee, you will have numerous tasks to complete. It is not uncommon for people to lack the time, knowledge, or resources to be able to handle everything on their own. A Virginia Beach private administration lawyer can help you take care of the complexities of probate and trust administration, including:
- Contacting all beneficiaries.
- Inventorying and managing assets.
- Arranging for appraisal and valuation of real estate and other assets.
- Preparing notices to heirs and potential creditors.
- Paying taxes, final expenses, and any debts.
- Reviewing and resolving any claims against the estate.
- Filing estate tax, as well as state and federal income tax returns.
- Preparing interim and final accountings.
- Distributing assets and any remaining income in compliance with terms.
- Addressing any potential probate disputes.
- Ensuring clients have taken advantage of all tools and strategies available to protect their assets and family members in the future.
If you are an executor, administrator, or even beneficiary of an estate in probate, you will understandably have many questions and issues to deal with. An experienced probate administration lawyer can help ease your stress and assist with the necessary coordination. Additionally, if your loved one died without a will, we can help you understand the process in order to finalize all that is required in a timely and efficient manner.