Beyond Wills: Unusual Cases Where You Need a Probate Attorney

Most people don't think about probate until a loved one passes away, but there are times when you may need a probate attorney for more than just writing a will. A probate attorney specializes in the legal process of administering a person's estate after death. Probate can involve complex legal issues, and an attorney can help you navigate these issues successfully. This post explores some of the uncommon scenarios where you may need the expertise of a probate attorney.

Disputes over The Estate

If there is a dispute over who should inherit the property, assets, or money left by a deceased relative, then you need a probate attorney. Disputes can occur between family members, business partners, or heirs that may not be the legal beneficiaries of the deceased. A probate attorney can help you resolve disputes by either negotiating a settlement or litigating the matter.

Estate Planning for Too-Large Estates

Some estates are so large that they require an expert eye to ensure all aspects of the estate are accounted for. A probate attorney can provide counsel on estate planning to ensure the will is written correctly, you are aware of the tax implications of your estate, and any beneficiaries are named correctly.

Guardianship for Minors

If an unprepared parent dies, their minor children will need a legal guardian. A probate attorney can bring forward a guardianship petition to the court and ensure that the guardian appointed is the best person for the job. The attorney can help you document your and your spouse's wishes about your children's guardianship in case of any unfortunate event.

Challenging Documents' Credibility

If you have reason to believe a document presented to you as legitimate is not credible, you need to speak to a probate attorney. Before any will or estate planning document is given legal effect, certain formalities must be met, such as signing in the presence of witnesses. An attorney can help you determine whether the document satisfies the necessary formalities or whether it's likely to be challenged successfully.

Unclaimed Assets

When a person dies, they may leave behind assets that have no designated beneficiaries and have not been allocated. These assets may include property, bank accounts, and even pensions and life insurance. An experienced probate attorney can help you identify and claim the unclaimed benefits of a deceased person.

Reach out to a probate attorney in your area for more information.