Probate Decedent Estates
An area of law related to the services provided by attorneys and their staff in order to assist various people involved in carrying out the wishes of a deceased person. Personal representatives require assistance in carrying out their duties and responsibilities while avoiding personal liability. Certain family members may require assistance in transferring property through abbreviated processes. Beneficiaries and family members may need help in understanding the probate process and in protecting their individual rights. Creditors may require assistance in protecting any rights they may have in the decedent’s assets.
- Decedent is a person who has died.
- Probate Estate is a court process by which the property of a deceased person is collected, creditors are paid, and the remaining property is distributed to the rightful beneficiaries. Only property owned in the decedent’s sole name and without a valid beneficiary designation is subject to probate administration.
When to start
When someone dies, a court proceeding may be needed to ensure the proper transfer of the decedent’s assets. Different states have different time restrictions regarding decedents’ estates so it is important to consult with an attorney shortly after the death of the individual.
Where to begin
Whether you have been named a personal representative or beneficiary in a Will, you are the relative of someone who has died without a Will, or you are a creditor of the deceased individual, call our office and set up a complimentary consultation (for new clients) with one of our experienced attorneys.
What to bring
You should bring with you:
- Original Wills and Codicils, if any
- List of Assets Owned by the Decedent Including:
- Financial Statements
- Insurance Policies
- Copies of Deeds
- Tax Returns
- Any Other Asset Information
- Creditors should bring debt documentation
- Contact information for family members and/or beneficiaries
What to expect
No two probate cases are ever the same. This is why it is important to meet with one of our experienced attorneys who can explain to you the process you may go through during this already difficult time. The following are just a few examples of when you may need an experienced Probate attorney:
- A Personal Representative is a role you may have been asked to fill by the decedent in a Will or appointed to by the court to carry out your loved one’s wishes. We provide comprehensive assistance and guidance throughout the estate administration so that you can be confident that you have fulfilled your legal obligations.
- A Beneficiary is a person designated to inherit from a Decedent Estate. We will explain what to expect of the probate process, your rights to information regarding the assets in the probate estate and how to go about enforcing those rights.
- A Creditor may need to collect a debt that the decedent owed at the time of his or her death. We will explain to you how to legally enforce your claim against the individual’s estate.
- What if there was no Will? We will explain to you the options you have to legally transfer the assets of the deceased individual as well as who has a legal claim to those assets.
- Related Tax Matters: In addition to being available to help you navigate the legal probate process, we are available to assist with specific tax issues related to the death of a loved one.
We don’t stop there
Sometimes an individual’s first exposure to a probate estate administration is an incentive for them to get their own affairs in order. We are available to provide estate, tax and business planning services as needed.