Contested Wills or Probate Lawyers

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When Do I Need a Probate Lawyer?

What is Probate?

Probate is a court mandated legal process that attempts to distribute the estate of someone who dies. The goal of the probate process is to:

Initiation of Probate Proceedings

The executor of the deceased's will usually initiates probate proceedings. If there is no will, or no executor is named, the probate court will select an administrator to act as the executor of the will. The administrator is usually the deceased's closest relative or the person that stands to inherit the most.

Duties of the Executor

The executor of an estate has several court appointed duties that he or she must comply with. The executor must:

Does All Property Have to Pass Through Probate?

No. Most states allow a certain amount of property to pass free of probate, or through an expedited probate procedure. In California, for example, you can pass up to $100,000 of property without probate. In addition, property that passes outside of your will through joint tenancy arrangements or living trusts is not subject to probate.

Avoiding Probate

Depending on your life circumstances, planning to avoid probate may be a wise decision. The two most often cited reasons for avoiding probate are:

Do I Need Just any Attorney or a Probate Lawyer?

If you are involved in a probate proceeding, you should consult with an experienced probate attorney. The right probate lawyer can inform you of your rights as well as preserve any possible legal remedies you may have. If you wish to avoid probate in administering your estate, the proper estate planning lawyer can also craft a will or trust that is suitable to your situation.

Vea esta página en español: Testamentos Disputados o Validación Testamentaria o visita para más información legal.

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Last Modified: 05-29-2017 11:24 PM PDT

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