Probate is what happens to a person's estate when they pass away. It is the legal mechanism by which property, business, belongings, and any money left are disbursed among the heirs.
This process is much easier if the deceased has prepared a legally binding document to instruct the estate executors on where they want the different assets to be distributed – usually by a will or a living trust. These instructions will identify the beneficiaries and what it is wished for them to receive. However, these legal documents do not exist in many cases, meaning the courts will decide how to proceed.
Call us today to get your affairs organized and in order!
At Dixie Law, we know that our clients are undergoing a lot of hassle and worry at a critical time. Entering the probate process is stressful, with court-decided timeframes and deadlines at a time when you should be able to grieve and begin to process your loss.
If you are the administrator or appointed executor of an estate, you can rely on our services to help you navigate the probate process smoothly, with the peace of mind that once the case has been concluded, you can move on with your life.
Get in touch with one of our experienced team members today, and we can help you and your family through the process!
We charge a flat fee for probate based on the size of the estate. If it is a smaller estate, the cost will be more minor. If it is a more significant estate, the fee will be more. You will not receive a bill from us every time you call the firm or every meeting you have. It will be a set fee agreed upon at the beginning of the case. Plus, we usually can work out an arrangement that you can pay most of the fee at the END of the case, not the beginning.
This means you and your family will have limited out-of-pocket costs. It means you don't have to worry about a CRAZY lawyer bill. You will know what we charge upfront, and the majority will get paid once the probate process is finished. It will likely come out of the estate, so you won't have to worry about coming up with it yourself.
Some people prefer to pay the fee upfront, which is also OK with us We will work for you to make it work.
If clear, unambiguous instructions have been left for the estate, then the probate process will consist of a court authenticating the will and approving the executor. The assets and liabilities will be identified and calculated, debts and taxes paid off, and then the executor will issue bequeathments.
On the other hand, if the deceased passed away ‘intestate’ (without a valid will), then beneficiaries will be identified by the court, which will also decide where property and assets are distributed. This situation is one to avoid wherever possible – rifts quickly arise in families where the relatives or friends of the deceased believe that they are due specific items/property or money, and those rifts can end up in litigation which will inevitably be both financially tolling and relationship-destroying.
You can get assistance with probate today by calling our office! Call Today!
Some circumstances will result in the estate going through a more complicated probate process:
If someone has been named in the will as the recipient of a bequeathment, and they predecease the benefactor, then that bequeathment will be subject to a court decision. It is essential always to ensure that a will is kept up to date, mainly if an intended beneficiary passes away.
Belongings that do not have paperwork associated with them – ornaments, jewelry, appliances, collections, etc. – could be allocated by the courts unless specific mention of them was made in estate planning. This can be of particular importance to the more sentimental items. If a wristwatch is handed down through a family for generations, it needs to state who should receive it next clearly.
In cases where a property is co-owned with a partner, the will needs to make sure that each share in the investment is allocated correctly, or the probate court will step in and decide. Shares can be assigned to a beneficiary through a will, trust, or ‘survivor’s rights,’ which will automatically pass to a survivor without probate.
Suppose the estate or the group of potential beneficiaries is small. In that case, the probate process can take less than a year – mainly if there are no complications and no one contests anything. In other cases, the probate can take several years – all the while, the legacy is being diminished (by the costs associated with the probate, ongoing taxes, and other factors), and the deceased’s loved ones are unable to move on entirely. This is the crucial reason for making and maintaining a clear, unambiguous, and all-encompassing will – to spare those most cherished the stress and costs of a long, drawn-out disbursement process.
Call us to remove the hassle of probate so you can properly grieve, and your family won't have to worry about missing deadlines!
The probate process initiated earlier will lead to a better outcome for you and your family. We aren't telling you that you need to rush, take some time to grieve, but be aware that TIME IS LIMITED. The probate process has deadlines that are required to be hit after the passing of a loved one. If you keep pushing off starting the process, it could lead to the following:
Do not wait - we can help you now and prevent the above from happening.
For further information about probate, to discuss using our services to handle the probate process for you, get in touch with one of our expert probate attorneys today. There is absolutely no obligation.
Call us today or fill out a contact form, and we will reach out to you! We are here to assist you!
We work closely with our clients and offer vigorous representation both in and out of the courtroom. If you would like to learn more about our services, please reach out to our office today.
You can contact our lawyers in Louisville at 502-806-8711 or contact us online. Initial consultations are always free.