The probate process can feel overwhelming. There are several decisions to make, and it can be tough to know where to start.
Before signing any paperwork, it’s best to have an experienced probate attorney working with you. But how do you know which one to choose? Below, the team at Jerimy Kirschner & Associates, PLLC shares top questions to ask to pick the best probate attorney for your situation.
If My Loved One Doesn’t Have a Will, Will I Need to go Through Probate?
If your loved one does not have a will, their estate is considered intestate and needs to go through the probate process. Probate is the process of legally distributing a deceased person’s assets and debts, which can include:
- Real estate;
- Bank accounts;
- Vehicles; and,
- personal property.
The estate executor is responsible for filing the necessary paperwork with the court, notifying creditors, paying off debts, and distributing assets to any estate beneficiaries. Washington’s state laws can be lengthy and complex, requiring numerous court filings and tax forms, among other documents. If there are disputes over who is entitled to what, the process can be even more difficult.
However, this entire process could have been avoided if your loved one had a will. A valid will eliminates the need for probate court by providing clear instructions on who is to receive assets and when they should receive them. This is why it is important that everyone have a valid will in place.
Have You Executed a Will Before?
When it comes to asking a probate attorney if they have ever executed a will before, it is crucial to understand the implications of their answer. Depending on their experience and expertise, you can use their services for future wills or estate planning. If the attorney has extensive experience working with wills, there is a higher chance that they will be able to help you create a legally binding document that meets your needs. However, if they haven’t ever executed a will before, it may be better to look for someone with more experience in this field. Additionally, it would be best to ask the attorney about their fees and any potential conflicts of interest regarding wills that might arise due to their relationship with other clients.
Fact: Our founding attorney, Jerimy Kirschner, has been in practice since 2010. Learn more about him and the experienced team at Jerimy Kirschner & Associates, PLLC.
What Assets Will be Distributed Through Probate, and How Can I Ensure Everything is Fair and Equitable?
Losing a loved one is always a difficult experience, and legal requirements surrounding their estate can add to the burden. To ensure everything is done properly, it’s wise to hire a probate attorney. They will thoroughly explain the process and help you go through it quickly and efficiently. A probate attorney can answer questions such as what assets are eligible to be distributed in a probate will and provide assistance with dividing up funds or properties. Furthermore, they can also help guarantee that all parties involved in the process receive their rightful portion of the estate.
Additionally, a knowledgeable lawyer will help minimize potential hurdles or delays while navigating the complex paperwork and judicial system, ultimately protecting your and your loved one’s assets. Having a lawyer by your side during this trying time can provide much-needed peace of mind and help preserve your family’s interests during an already difficult situation.
If you are going through the probate process, it is vital to have an attorney who can help guide you through the complicated legal system. The team at Jerimy Kirschner & Associates, PLLC will answer any questions about the process and ensure that your loved one’s assets are distributed fairly. Contact our dedicated Washington estate planning and probate attorney today for more information on how we can help with your situation. (206) 203-8802