After a loved one has passed away, they may leave behind a sizable estate that you and your family must disperse. Your relatives may not agree with how the valuables should be divided. None of you also may have the money needed to pay the taxes on the estate.
Instead of trying to divide up the valuables yourself, you may need to have the estate go through probate court first. You can hire a probate attorney to represent your relative's estate during the court process.
Having Taxes Taken Out
Taxes on a loved one's estate can be pricey. It may cost hundreds or thousands of dollars to pay what the estate owes to the IRS and state.
When you hire a probate attorney, you can have the taxes taken out of the estate. You avoid having to pay this money upfront yourself. You can have the money deducted from the estate's overall worth and spare the family from a large tax bill.
By law, the loved one's creditors must be notified of their estate and its upcoming court process. Creditors may have the legal right to lay claim to some of the money or assets that the estate has left behind.
Your probate attorney can make sure that only eligible creditors take what they are owed out of the estate. They can also prevent creditors who have no valid claim from deducting anything from the money or assets that are left over.
Identifying Eligible Beneficiaries
Finally, if your loved one died without a will, They may have left their estate open to anyone laying claim to it. After the probate attorney publishes the notification of the estate in the local paper, anyone can come forward and say that they are a legal claimant to it.
Your probate attorney can identify legal heirs to the estate and determine to what extent that they have a claim against the estate. They can prevent people who are not related to the family or who have not had any contact with the relative from laying claim to it.
A probate attorney can provide valuable services after your loved one dies. They can represent the estate in court. This lawyer can also have the taxes paid out of it, vet eligible creditors, and identify rightful estate beneficiaries. For more information about working with a probate attorney, reach out to a local law office.