When a loved one dies, you must deal with dividing their estate amongst family members and others. The Alabama probate process ensures the deceased’s wishes are followed and that all legal requirements are met, and all laws are followed.
A probate lawyer can help you through the process, and possibly even help you avoid probate altogether! Our experienced and talented team of probate lawyers at Johnstone Adams is here to assist you and your family!
What Is Probate?
Probate refers to the general administration of a deceased’s will, or if they didn’t have a will, the distribution of their estate. This includes a person’s real estate property, financial accounts, investments, and other assets.
An executor or administrator will complete the probate process, including paying outstanding bills and other financial obligations and then distributing assets to the deceased’s named beneficiaries.
What a Probate Lawyer Does
A probate lawyer helps the executor throughout the probate process. They can assist the family in a variety of ways, including:
- Identify all of the deceased’s probate assets.
- Get appraisals on the property.
- Make sure all documents and forms are correctly completed and submitted.
- Give advice on paying the deceased’s bills and any other debts.
- Monitor the deceased person’s financial accounts.
- Manage the payment of estate and inheritance taxes.
- Help address any income tax issues.
- Settle disputes between family members.
- Help with the sale of any property.
- Give beneficiaries their assets.
Benefits of Hiring a Probate Lawyer
There are many reasons to hire a probate lawyer. After losing a loved one, the last thing you want to do is deal with navigating the probate process alone or dealing with family disputes.
A probate lawyer can help address these issues and others, including:
Prevent family conflicts: When emotions are running high after losing a family member, going through the probate process can be tense. Family members might want to be part of the process – even if they are not an executor – and it can get messy very quickly. A probate lawyer can prevent conflicts and help answer questions so everyone feels comfortable about how the estate is being divided.
Speed up the process: Probate can be a lengthy process. It can take longer than a year, and typically takes at least 6 months. A probate lawyer can help speed up the process and get you quicker access to your property and assets.
Handle claims against the estate: A family member might make a claim against the estate if they feel they weren’t given a fair share of the estate, or if someone wasn’t mentioned in the will who feels they should have been. A probate lawyer can handle these situations and help get rid of the claims.
Ensure paperwork is correct: To keep the probate process moving – and prevent your probate from being rejected – it’s important to have a probate lawyer handle the documents that need to be filed with the court. A lawyer will ensure the forms are completed correctly, reducing the risk of your probate being rejected.
Help with financial issues: If your loved one has outstanding bills or debts, you must deal with these issues before distributing assets. Some people’s financial situations can be complicated, and it can help to have an experienced probate lawyer on your team to help. They can not only ensure you pay off the bills you need to, but also that you don’t accidentally overpay.
Answer your questions: Perhaps one of the biggest benefits of hiring a probate lawyer is having someone on your side that you can go to with your questions. A lot of different issues might come up during the probate process and you will need an experienced pro to help.
Contact Our Experienced Probate Lawyers in Mobile
Johnstone Adams LLC has been ranked Best Lawyers® “Best Law Firms” in the region for 12 practice areas in 2022. We’ve helped clients for over a century and provide a wide range of specialties with decades of combined experience. Our broad interests allow us to serve individuals and companies with the legal help they need personally and professionally.
When you need a probate lawyer, contact our Mobile, Alabama office today at (804) 492-7137 or fill out our online contact form