How an Estate Planning Attorney can Help During Probate

When someone dies, their survivors are often left to cope with the pain of their loss, plan for final arrangements, and then try to manage their estate. If there is a will (or even absent one), a named personal representative must oversee the distribution of the estate through the probate process. Probate, like all legal processes, has its own specialized rules and laws which must be followed precisely. Having an estate planning attorney to guide you through probate and its many requirements will help ensure that your loved one’s estate is apportioned efficiently and according to their wishes.

Probate refers to the legal process which an individual’s estate can go through in order to be settled and distributed to their beneficiaries after he or she dies. If there is not a will, the estate will still go through this process. If there is a will, the court will monitor the payment of debts and awarding of assets to those named in the document. The personal representative named in the will is required to provide the probate court with vital financial information regarding the estate. At this stage, the complex jobs of taking an accurate inventory and correctly identifying assets and debts can be overwhelming. However, it is critical that the court has the correct information to proceed. Additionally, after the estate is distributed, the representative will need to file a report with the court to move towards the conclusion of the case. An estate planning attorney will understand how to help you accomplish these tasks and provide the right information to ensure the probate can be completed.

Another possibility is that the personal representative may neglect to file the will with the probate court. Michigan law requires that any person who has of a signed will has to file it with the county court where the decedent resided “with reasonable promptness.” An estate planning attorney will know what actions to take should such an event occur and how to make sure that the will is fully probated.

Probate can be a lengthy process taking months or even years. One factor which can draw out a probate case is when a relative contests, or disputes, a will term or bequest. The more animosity between the beneficiaries and possible beneficiaries the longer the case can be tied up. Having an experienced estate planning attorney means you will have someone at your side who is ready to manage these kinds of challenges and protect your interest.

We understand the many-sided issues which can arise during probate and can provide you with the advice you need to navigate and complete this process successfully. Please contact us online or by phone if we may be of assistance.

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