Wilmington Probate Lawyer
By utilizing the services of a Wilmington probate lawyer, you are guaranteed a fair distribution of assets upon death based on your desires. When you die with a will, the probate procedure assists in verifying the validity of the will and provides a method for finalizing your estate by paying bills and allocating assets to your heirs. In the absence of a will, the probate process will assist in determining who will inherit your assets.
What is Probate?
Probate is a legal procedure that permits a court to examine a will and determine whether it is valid. Often people equate probate to “proving” of a will. It’s also a procedure for administering a departed individual’s will or a departed person’s estate in the absence of a will. Following the death of an asset holder, the probate court selects an executor designated in their will or an administrator if they died without a will to oversee the probate procedure. This entails gathering your assets to pay outstanding liabilities and transferring the estate’s assets to heirs. Although the consensus on probate is that it should be avoided if possible, some people may find themselves in a probate process for various reasons. Most probate attorneys, on the other hand, will assist you in understanding that this process benefits you more than it harms you. Probate is essentially the same as putting a claim on a deceased’s estate.
The Purpose of Probate and Estate Administration
Among the most common reasons for the probate process are:
- Determining the validity of a will. There are numerous reasons a will may be challenged. For example, if a person believes it does not accurately reflect the testator’s intent. They have the option of contesting it in probate court.
- Family feud. Disputes over the unequal distribution of a departed person’s estate may emerge due to divorce or remarriage. A will may be challenged in that instance, resulting in probate court proceedings.
- Fault in trust formation. The accuracy of terminology in all estate planning papers is critical. Suits to change the provisions of a trust may be filed if the terms seem incorrect. Conversely, if the trust’s primary intent no longer exists, a claim for termination may be filed.
- Questions about guardianship. A disagreement over the appointment of a guardian for a disabled dependent may arise if the testator fails to plan for the requirements of that individual.
These are only a few grounds for probate disputes; the list goes on and on. People must realize that even the best-laid estate planning cannot ensure the absence of litigation. Individuals can be confident that their rights and liberties will be vehemently defended with the support of professional probate attorneys with comprehensive knowledge of residential property and family law.
Wilmington, North Carolina Probate Resources
You worked too hard to achieve financial security to not be able to provide financial security for your family. A comprehensive estate plan can only do so much. The local probate administration process may significantly deplete your estate. The property left may not be enough to provide for surviving spouses or minor children. Other than taking measures to avoid probate, consider hiring a financial advisor.
Who is a Wilmington, NC Probate Lawyer?
A Wilmington probate attorney is a person who has a thorough understanding of wills, trusts, and tax planning, and can thus assist an executor and the heirs of an estate in settling a deceased person’s final arrangements. They can also assist in settling financial matters ahead of their death. These people do everything they can to ensure their clients’ property-related wishes are fulfilled.
Check Out Our Other Practice Areas:
- Estate planning
- Last will and testament
- Estate administration
- Advance care planning
- Special needs planning
What Does a Wilmington, NC Probate Attorney Do?
Probate attorneys primarily assist executors in the probate procedure. The measures they take to complete their duty are based on state legislation in the places where the deceased lived and died while owning property. A Wilmington probate lawyer, for example, conducts the estate administration process entirely per North Carolina statutes. Furthermore, whether the decedent died testate or intestate affects the duty of a probate lawyer. Intestate indicates they passed without a will, whereas testate implies they died with a last will and testament.
The Role of a Wilmington Probate Lawyer When a Person Dies With a Will
If an individual dies with a legal will, the relevant parties may hire a probate attorney near them to act as a counselor and provide direction. The heirs or the executor of the estate are examples of these people. For example, probate lawyers may examine the will to ensure it was not drafted under duress or any influence. This is especially significant if the departed was elderly and suffering from a disease such as dementia.
The Role of a Wilmington Probate Lawyer When a Person Dies Without a Will
If a person dies intestate, the deceased’s estate is allocated among the legal heirs based on Wilmington, NC, intestacy statutes. The personal representative will definitely have their work cut out for them. Estate planning matters are exacerbated in situations where there are no Wilmington wills, asset protection measures, pour over wills with living trusts, testamentary trusts or durable powers of attorney. Clients find out quickly that estates need to be planned out. In such cases, an individual may contact a probate attorney to assist the estate administrator in distributing the assets of a departed person to the beneficiaries. Creditors still need to be paid, the remaining assets distributed, and a final accounting given.
Other Roles of a Wilmington Probate Attorney
A probate attorney’s additional responsibilities include the following:
- Assist the executor in locating and securing probate and non-probate property
- Determine and settle owing taxes
- Transfer assets to heirs
- Obtain an appraisal of the departed party’s assets
- Collect and manage life insurance proceeds
- Offer advice on powers of attorney, and check to see if any estate taxes are due.
- Assists with estate planning, such as writing wills or trusts
- Advises on the payment of the deceased’s final bills and obligations
- Prepares and files a decedent’s final debts and liabilities as mandated by a probate court
When to Contact a Wilmington Probate Lawyer for Estate Planning Services
You may be wondering when it is appropriate to contact a probate lawyer now that you know who they are and what they do. Here are some of the situations in which you should seek the advice of a Wilmington, North Carolina, probate lawyer:
- Estate planning and probate are extremely complicated, particularly when a blended family is involved.
- When you discover that a deceased loved one left a substantial debt.
- When you understand or suspect that the will is going to be contested.
Why Do You Need a Wilmington Probate Lawyer?
As previously stated, a probate lawyer is required while dealing with probate matters. They can assist you with various tasks, including locating and acquiring probate assets and obtaining appraisals for any of the departed party’s property. A Wilmington probate lawyer is also essential in ensuring that any documents required by the probate court are filed on time. Probate law and the estate administration process can be tricky, especially if you do not practice law. If you didn’t engage our services for estate planning matters, retaining a Wilmington estate planning attorney is especially necessary. You may not be lucky enough to stumble upon a probate proceeding that is non-contentious. You’d be surprised to hear of legal issues involving surviving spouses, real estate owned in multiple names, bank accounts with designated beneficiaries, and poor business succession planning.
Luckily, we at Johnson Legal PLLC have.
Finding the Best Wilmington Probate Attorney
Finding an experienced probate attorney near you is the greatest approach to ensure you get the most out of a probate process. Allow our knowledgeable probate attorney to assist you throughout the process. Contact us for any probate lawsuit legal guidance.