If you’re retaining a lawyer for a relative’s estate or assets, here’s some helpful advice – which also allows you to stay within your budget.
Has one of your relatives recently passed away? It can be stressful to come to terms with this, particularly if you were close.
However, if you are in charge of administrating their estate, then you will might need to retain a lawyer to distribute your relatives’ assets as your relatives wanted.
Don’t wait weeks until you start hiring an attorney. Begin as soon as possible.
Do you need probate or not and go to court? This is the first big question you need to ask. This will depend on how much planning was done prior to your relatives’ death. If they died suddenly and young then they are likely to have done much planning.
If they were older and organized then they may have left a will and already started to transfer some of their assets. This can mean you can avoid going to court and dealing with probate.
If this is not the case then you may need to hire an attorney to help you with the probate process. The probate process will ensure that your relatives’ assets are transferred fairly and to the letter of the law.
If your relative left a will its contents can sometimes be contested. If you’ve ever read or watched an adaptation of Charles Dickens’ great novel Bleak House you’ll know that if you are not careful contesting a will can quickly become like the famous case in the book Jarndyce and Jarndyce. It can last for years.
However, it doesn’t have to be like this. A real estate lawyer can ensure that your relatives’ estate is divided up fairly and quickly. You don’t need to allow the case to drag on for months, getting more acronymous as time goes on.
If your late relative had a large estate that was valued at a considerable sum then it could be that you have to pay federal estate tax. Remember taxes are added by IRS onto the transfer of any property between people.
Hiring an attorney can help you navigate this.
They can have your property evaluated for you and tell you whether you have to pay and how much. They can also pay it for you to ensure that you don’t end up on the wrong side of the law or the IRS.
Failing to pay the taxes due on the property could lead to some drastic consequences so be sure to pay up.
Retaining a lawyer for your relatives’ estate is a sensible thing to do for the immediate future. They can arrange everything for you from federal estate tax to the will being contested by different relatives. A good lawyer can also represent you in court if it goes to the probate stage.