Do you need to hire a probate attorney?
Many times, families are left confused with the steps needed to transfer, collect or distribute decedent’s assets. They are often told that they should consult an attorney in order to determine the need for attorney services. Once many families begin to dive into the assets of the decedent they may very well decide that they may need an attorney, but before they decide there are some questions that should be asked, the following are a couple of important questions in order to determine if the family needs to hire a probate attorney:
1. Can the decedent’s assets be transferred outside of court?
It would depend on the amount and kind of estate planning the decedent had prepared, if any. Some assets that may be transferred outside of probate are assets held in joint tenancy and tenancy by the entirety. Probate will also be unnecessary for assets for which the decedent named a beneficiary ie. Bank accounts, retirement accounts, etc.
2. If Probate is necessary?
It would depend if the decedent passed away with assets titled in their name solely. Many times, decedents leave behind accounts, properties, assets without labeling a beneficiary or without a joint title owner, this could lead to making a probate case necessary.
These are only a couple of the questions that a family member should ask when deciding if they need to hire a probate attorney. It is important that if the family members have any questions related to the decedent’s assets that they consult with an attorney who is well versed in the probate laws and rules in their state.