Posted by Dana Law Group on October 7, 2020
Whether you’re an heir, beneficiary or executor, hiring an experienced probate attorney in Arizona can help with the handling and distribution of the deceased’s estate. Probate attorneys help navigate the probate process, which is complex. Here’s a list of 7 reasons why you should use a probate attorney.
The probate process is well known for being complex and slow. Probate attorneys help streamline the complex process at every stage. From preparing filings to the distribution of assets, an experienced probate attorney helps take care of everything in accordance with Arizona law. Keep in mind that a lot of people who try to do it on their own get rejected by the court. With a probate attorney, you’ll have less frustration a more efficient resolution of the estate.
It’s not uncommon for there to be some family conflict with a deceased’s estate. Maybe the deceased did not leave a will or someone was left out of the will. Feuds can arise in which relationships cannot be repaired. A probate attorney has the skills and knowledge to address these types of issues and can help everyone reach an agreed settlement without destroying relationships.
Probate attorneys help facilitate agreements to existing problems with a will. For example, perhaps a mother left her home to five children, but only four can live in it. Or, if a father left a business to all of his children, but one doesn’t want it and requests he is bought out. And if the person didn’t have a will, the heirs are all in different positions. A probate attorney can assist in communication between heirs for a successful resolution of the estate.
Some wills are straightforward and others are not. If an heir or beneficiary contests the will, the court will likely intervene. Representing yourself in a contested will case is tough. There are discovery deadlines and evidence that must be presented in court. Not only can it be costly to try to do this on your own, you just may lose certain rights without an attorney advocating for you.
It’s difficult to understand everything about probate. There may be a technical issue with tax-advantaged ownership or certain trusts. A skilled probate attorney will have the answers to avoid clouding the title of the estate property. They know exactly what assets must pass through the probate process.
Practically no one dies without owing money to someone. While creditors have the right to get paid, a probate attorney knows which ones have that right. In addition, a probate attorney can help negotiate the creditor’s claim down. They will also take the necessary action to protect the assets that are exempt from the creditor’s claim.
While most estates are not subject to a death tax, there are some that are. Large estates with $5 million or more in assets are subject to a death tax. An experienced probate attorney would be needed to help navigate the death tax put on the estate by the federal government and the state. They can help shield the estate from some taxes by setting up a tax ownership advantage structure. There is a lot of paperwork and skill required when doing this. A probate attorney will be able to explain and defend the structure to the proper authorities. There is a lot at stake when handling the probate of larger estates.
As you can see, there are many reasons to hire an experienced probate attorney for the probate process. Problems can arise that you don’t even think of. The role of a probate attorney is to get the decedent’s property appraised, collect and manage life insurance proceeds, secure all the decedent’s assets, advise how to pay bills and settle debt, prepare documents required by a probate court, determine whether any estate taxes are own and to manage the estate’s checkbook. That’s a lot to handle on your own.