When To Consider Hiring a Probate Attorney

Do you have a loved one who recently passed away without a valid will? While this isn’t as uncommon as you might imagine, you will still want to look into hiring a probate attorney immediately. Your family might have to visit probate court to sort out the details, from your loved one’s outstanding debts to the distribution of their assets, and a probate law firm can take these difficult steps with them.

Still, this isn’t the only time you should consider hiring a probate attorney. Bringing a will and trust lawyer on board can benefit your family in a big way long before someone reads your final will and testament. See why below.

Your Family Has Questions About Executing a Loved One’s Will

A 2023 caring.com survey reported more than half of American adults admitting to not having wills in place. Some people delay putting together a will because they don’t know where to begin. Others don’t want to think about the end of their lives.

Older people in the U.S. tend to put wills in place during their later years–about three-quarters of those over 65 have them, one 2021 Gallup poll found. However, the issue isn’t whether or not the person has a will. Even if this document is in place, a family may still want to consider hiring a probate attorney.

For example, you and your family members may have a few questions about executing your loved one’s will, even if the wording is straightforward. A trusted estate lawyer can answer any questions that come up. Having someone who knows the ropes and legal protocols can also provide your family with peace of mind during this tough transition.

Your Family Disagrees With Certain Aspects of a Loved One’s Will

If a loved one dies before creating a will with an estate planning attorney, there’s a chance you and your family members might end up having disputes over the estate. Even if your loved one died with a will, you might still have to endure your fair share of family disputes. 

Did any of your family members feel as though that loved one cut them out? Maybe they’re questioning why the will didn’t leave them with what they were expecting. This is yet another area in which a probate attorney can help your family move through things more easily. 

An inheritance attorney has just this kind of experience, including a team like David E. Anderson, PLLC. The attorney will aim to accurately decipher the will and also ensure the process fulfills the decedent’s final wishes.

Your Family Isn’t Sure How To Handle a Loved One’s Debts After Their Death

An alarming 2017 study by Experian suggested that nearly 75% of Americans die with at least some debt still hanging over their heads. That puts the average American with about $62,000 worth of debt at the time of their death, including credit card debt, student debt, and auto loan debt. 

With these common forms of debt following people around right up until their last days, there’s much to think about when it comes to probate. If your loved one died with debt, you might wonder:

  • Does my family have to pay off my loved one’s debt?
  • Are creditors allowed to contact my family about my loved one’s debt?
  • Could creditors sue my family to try to collect on our loved one’s debt?

Hiring a probate and trust litigation lawyer can provide answers to these debt-related questions and save you from repaying debts you aren’t legally responsible to pay following a loved one’s death.

Your Family Can’t Think Straight While Grieving Your Loved One’s Loss

Elisabeth Kubler-Ross’s grief study in the 1960s revealed some amazing insights. For example, while 70% of people seem to move past the extremely intense feelings of grief following a loved one’s loss within 12 months, it can get complicated. Everyone moves through these feelings at their own pace.

When someone is struggling to even climb out of bed in the morning, executing a loved one’s will isn’t often something they feel capable of undertaking. If you and your family are finding that grief is holding up your probate process, why not hire a probate attorney for support and assistance? They can walk beside you through this process and give you the space you need.

Do You Need a Probate Attorney? Call Our Probate Law Firm

If your family is thinking about hiring a probate attorney, the law offices of David E. Anderson, PLLC can help. Contact us at 910-889-1786.

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