Is probate really that bad?
Probate can be a bitter and lengthy ordeal, and for good reason: Probate is the process of dividing and distributing the estate of the deceased, and depending on the size of the estate and the complexity of the will, it can be almost impossible to fully understand each step. Probate is full of hoops to jump through and unexpected twists, so there’s plenty of opportunity for extra headaches along the way. Legal challenges, complications, infighting – and all before assets are even distributed.
Handling an estate without a will is a nightmare. Handling an estate with a will is a slightly more comfortable nightmare. There’s no denying that a will is an important document. Your loved ones should know what to do after your death. But there’s still lots of opportunities for fighting and drama, all during a time that would be better spent grieving. Fortunately, a probate lawyer in Des Moines, IA can help you keep the bad blood to a minimum.
What does a probate lawyer do for me?
In the simplest terms, a probate lawyer specializes in estate administration. Probate is broken up into several steps:
- Each will needs to be verified as conforming to state requirements
- Beneficiaries need to be informed that the will has been submitted
- Assets need to be found, and value needs to be determined
- Debts, fees, etc. need to be paid off
- And finally – after all of that – assets can be distributed between beneficiaries
These steps can be quite the process. And each one of these steps generates paperwork, which should be filled and filed out by your probate lawyer. Probate is not a simple matter, and to make things worst, there is always the opportunity for a demanding or vindictive family member (or other beneficiary) to try and challenge the legitimacy of the will, and to sue for assets they feel they deserve more than anyone else. Having legal guidance can prevent any of that from happening.
Tips for Handling Any Legal Case
Be Honest With Your Legal Team
No matter what you’re dealing with, honesty is always the best policy. When working with a probate lawyer in Des Moines, IA, be consistent and transparent in all the information you share with them. Answer any questions as truthfully as possible and do not withhold any details your legal team asks for. The more truthful you are about your situation, the better your lawyer can assist you.
Don’t Ignore Communications From Your Lawyer
Chances are, your legal team will be reaching out to you with phone calls, emails and letters throughout the proceedings of your case. Don’t ignore any of these communications; your probate lawyer in Des Moines, IA, is likely reaching out to share important updates on your situation, so it’s in your best interest to be as informed as possible. If the professionals at the Law Group of Iowa send you any legal documents, keep them and make copies if you’re able to.
Don’t Share Details of Your Case or Estate
Often, sharing details about your case can come back to harm you in a lot of ways. You may end up disclosing unnecessary information, which can quickly spread around — if this happens, other parties may get ahold of these crucial details and attempt to use them against you later in court or during a settlement. The safest option you have is to keep the details of your legal case or estate strictly between yourself and your probate lawyer in Des Moines, IA. If you’re ever in a situation where someone (such as local law enforcement) inquires about your situation, do not share any details without having your lawyer present.
Keep Records of Everything
Having a clear, concise record of every aspect of your legal proceedings can help you in a lot of unforseen ways. You may need certain pieces of information later that is only accessible via important documents, or you may be asked to provide records as evidence to support your case. Either way, keep and copy any documents you have that relate to your case in any way. Even if you’re not sure if a document is necessary to supporting your situation, keep it anyway. If you can, make copies in case the originals are lost.
Don’t Wait to Take Action
The longer you wait to get in contact with the professionals at the Law Group of Iowa, the less likely your case is to succeed. Don’t procrastinate; take action as soon as possible to secure your future.
FAQs About Probate and Estates
Does the State Get Everything if Someone Passes Without a Will?
Nearly any probate lawyer in Des Moines, IA, will tell you that each state has its laws for handling an estate if the deceased had no will. The state will usually divide assets up between the next of kin, which is usually the deceased’s spouse or children. If no living relatives can be found, the state may take the assets.
Will the Cost of Probate Outweigh the Estate’s Value?
Many people worry that probates are expensive and may ultimately cost more than what the estate is worth. In reality, most probate cases require any proceedings; if they do, these costs typically account for less than 5% of the entire estate.
Is the Oldest Child Automatically Entitled To Be Their Parent’s Executor?
Rarely is this the case. If the deceased parent names an executor, the eldest child has no say; if they didn’t, the state will approach the next of kin to become executor, and a living spouse is usually first in line. Without a living spouse, the Law Group of Iowa will move on to children. Once this happens, the children can either designate a single person to represent them all or they can choose to be co-executors.
Do I Have to Leave Anything to My Spouse?
You’re not legally obligated to leave anything to your spouse, and many couples may choose to leave very little for each other in their will. This is fine as long as both parties are in continual agreement. If one spouse changes their mind after their partner passes away, they have the right to refuse what their spouse left them in favor of the elective share of the estate.
How Long Does It Take to Probate an Estate?
The length of an estate settlement can vary based on a lot of factors, but most take anywhere from a few months to a year. If the deceased has ongoing income following their death or an especially large estate, it may take the Law Group of Iowa longer to settle everything. The same goes for any probate lawyer in Des Moines, IA, if the family frequently quarrels over assets.
Does a Last Will Need to Be Notarized?
Every state is different, but in some cases, the document does not need to be notarized. In California, for example, the last will only needs to be signed by the testator and two witnesses.
Probate Lawyer in Des Moines, IA
When you need a probate lawyer in Des Moines, IA, you need look no further than the Law Group of Iowa. They’ve been helping people like you with probate for over 30 years.
What, exactly, is probate?
Probate is the legal process where the estate of the person who died is actually settled. As a general rule, the more property the decedent had at the time of their death the more complex the probate process is likely to be.
The rules often seem arcane and confusing to the layperson which is exactly why you may want an expert probate lawyer like Law Group of Iowa. This is often true even though Iowa doesn’t require one
Reasons to have a probate lawyer
There are multiple reasons a probate lawyer is worth considering including:
Most of our clients tell us the probate court tends to assume you know what you’re doing and is reluctant to answer your questions. Taking on probate is assuming a large responsibility that is much more complicated than most people recognize.
- If the family is likely to argue about how the estate is to be handled, having a probate attorney will make your life much easier.
- Wills often use language that, from a lay person’s of view, is unclear, A probate attorney will be able to help that issue get sorted out.
- Estates with a large value often benefit from legal help.
- If the estate involves the transfer of a business, a lawyer who knows the ropes is likely to be more than helpful.
- When the estate results in a dispute with a creditor having an experienced attorney on your side will often be able to help you get it sorted out quickly. If the estate can’t pay legitimate debts, an attorney representing you is likely to result in a truly fair settlement.
- Local services, taxes and federal taxes may be involved and the right probate attorney can help you understand what is needed.
- Real estate transfers, especially between counties and/or states may require a probate attorney.
Choosing a probate lawyer
The death of a loved one is an emotional time. This is exactly why you want a probate attorney that has deep experience handling cases like yours. They can protect your rights and interests and provide you with the balanced information you need to make good decisions.
Law Group of Iowa has been helping people with probate for years. They have the experience you need when you’re faced with probate.
Schedule a no-cost consultation
The Law Group of Iowa are pleased to offer you a no-cost consultation. This will allow you to get a ‘feel’ for the firm, meet with some of their staff and get your initial questions answered. Your consultation will be treated with confidentiality and you’ll recognize you’ve been talking with people who understand your situation.
You’ll find their email address on their contact page. Please email your interest in the free consolation, or call their phone number you’ll find there to begin the process of considering Law Group of Iowa as your probate lawyer Knoxville, TN.
Contact Law Group of Iowa today
Probate can be a stressful process – but it doesn’t have to be. If you have the right probate lawyer on hand, you can be sure that each step will be properly executed and documented, and you can rest easy knowing there’s less room for any sort of legal challenge when it comes time to process the will left behind by your loved one.
There’s a mountain of paperwork to process, and a delicate dance between the state, the estate, the beneficiaries, and you. It’s up to a probate lawyer to make sure everything runs smoothly, to make sure there are no unpleasant surprises, and to make sure you have time to properly grieve. Instead of focusing on paperwork and legal red tape, reach out to Law Group of Iowa today, and see how a probate lawyer in Des Moines, IA can help you.
When a loved one dies, their estate must be probated in order to ensure that their final wishes are carried out. This process can be complex and confusing, especially for those who have never gone through it before. That is why it is important to consult with a probate lawyer in Des Moines, IA. They can help you understand the process and answer any questions you may have.
What is a probate lawyer?
Many people are familiar with the term “probate” because they have experienced the death of a family member or close friend. Probate is the legal process used to transfer a deceased person’s assets to beneficiaries and heirs.
Probate can be a lengthy and expensive process, which is why some people choose to prepare in advance by creating a trust or other estate planning documents. Yet probate is not always necessary. Some assets are automatically transferred to beneficiaries without going through probate, including life insurance policies and accounts with designated beneficiaries (such as IRA or 401k accounts).
Probate lawyers in Des Moines, IA can advise you about which assets pass outside of probate, which go through probate, and how to avoid probate if desired.
What can a probate lawyer do for me?
Probate lawyers have licensed attorneys who help families navigate the legal process after a loved one dies. Probate lawyers assist with the distribution of a deceased person’s assets, including the payment of taxes, debts, and expenses. A probate lawyer in Des Moines, IA also represents executors in court to ensure the deceased person’s will is properly executed.
A probate lawyer in Des Moines, IA can be very helpful in probate court if you are an executor or administrator of a deceased person’s estate. Probate attorneys can help you file all necessary documentation so that the probate court can distribute the assets of the estate to the appropriate heirs. Without a lawyer, you may need to spend many hours learning about probating an estate before filing any documents yourself.
Facing the death of a loved one is hard enough, but dealing with their estate can be downright overwhelming. There are so many things to do and so many decisions to make, it’s easy to feel lost and alone.
Law Group of Iowa is here for you. We have experienced probate lawyers who will guide you through every step of the process and make sure your rights are protected. We’ll handle all the paperwork for you and answer any questions you have along the way. Let us help you get through this difficult time. You need a lawyer who knows the ins and outs of the probate process. That’s where Law Group of Iowa comes in. We have years of experience helping families through the probate process, and we’re here to help you every step of the way.
We know that hiring a probate lawyer in Des Moines, IA can be expensive, but our rates are competitive and we offer payment plans to make it easy for you to get the help you need. Contact the Law Group of Iowa today for a free consultation and let us help you get through this tough time.