What Kinds of Circumstances Warrant the Help of a Long Island Probate Lawyer?
Even though in some instances, an individual is capable of handling all the terms of the estate, it’s not always best to try and do it yourself. Sometimes, you can make a bigger mess and have to hire a probate attorney in Long Island to help you clean it all up! At any rate, it’s tedious and time-consuming situation that can last anywhere from three or four months to over a year.
Why You Need Experienced Probate Legal Guidance
During probate proceedings, there are tons of things that need to be done. The process includes filing sundry notices and submitting loads of documents to the courts. There are also government agencies who must be notified of various hearings as they get scheduled. Sometimes when you are in the court setting, the judge asks for specific documents to be reviewed. They have to be delivered quickly so you’ll be scurrying to get the docs and get them back to the court. However, when you obtain a Long Island probate lawyer, you end up completely skipping the courtroom scene. The attorney handles everything and you don’t have to worry about it at all.
Benefits of an Attorney’s Advice and Assistance
If you are the estate’s assigned executor, you’ll have a lot of responsibilities. The legal advice and assistance a probate lawyer in Long Island can provide is priceless.
Some of the many benefits include:
- Finding all the decedent’s assets, both probate and non-probate and having them all appraised to determine their value.
- Taking care of all the documentation for the courts including preparing and filing them all with the court and making sure they are done on time.
- Collecting and managing life insurance, retirement plans, 401Ks, and IRAs.
- Making sure all the final bills and debts are paid as well as monitoring any bank accounts that are still open.
- Managing all the taxes including inheritance tax and estate tax on the state and federal levels. Also, the Long Island probate lawyer decides which funds are used to pay these and any other relevant taxes.
- Settling any income tax issues and helping to settle any disputes that might come up between the beneficiaries and the executor.
- If any property belonging to the estate is to be sold, the Long Island probate lawyer helps with it and requests the relevant permissions that may be needed or required by laws that govern state probate.
- Overseeing the dispersion of all the assets of the deceased after all the bills and debts have been paid totally until the probate process is totally completed.
Could I do Some of this Without an Attorney?
At first thought, this can seem like a good idea. Afterall, you might be able to save the estate some money by skipping an attorney. However, as the proceedings progress along, it can become a big complicated mess if you don’t have a Long Island probate lawyer helping you with all the details and requirements put forth by the courts. Without the proper experience and expertise, you can end up in a huge mess by making a simple mistake. Failing to send a copy of the petition or missing a simple deadline can make the process more difficult. Best case, the proceedings are delayed for a long time. Worst case, the probate process comes to a sudden stop.
What Kind of Problems Might I Face in Probate Court?
Some people are fortunate and have an easy time with the probate processes. But other times, it can get complicated in many ways both big and small. Having experience and legal guidance from an attorney can be indispensable.
If any one of these issues come up you will need an attorney for sure:
- If a dispute arises pertaining to a tax situation
- Any ambiguity in the will (usually just caused by the wording)
- If a relative makes a claim on any of the property or assets
- When property is willed to a minor – there may be a need for guardianship
- Any financial disputes
- If the estate is so far into debt, there isn’t enough to pay it all
When you are trying to decide if you want to involve an attorney or not, there are lots of things to think about. If for any reason, you feel confused or worried about the probate proceedings, or having to handle them, it’s best to elicit the help of an experienced Long Island probate lawyer.