Despite the fact that you will not be around when your estate goes through probate, it is important to know what the process entails. The more you know the better chance there is that you can make decisions that will work in the favor of your loved ones.
Generally speaking, there are two basic steps associated with the probate process:
- Pay the debts you owe
- Transfer assets to your beneficiaries
Although that may sound simple, it goes without saying that there are many complications that can arise along the way. Fortunately, the probate court in your state will oversee the process from beginning to end.
Note: since probate courts are state courts, laws and processes can and will vary from one state to the next.
The basic steps followed by most courts, regardless of state, include:
- Swearing in your personal representative
- Notifying creditors, heirs, and the public that you have passed on
- Taking inventory of your assets
- Distributing your estate, which includes paying any bills and taxes
Why do you need an Attorney?
At this point, you may be wondering why you would need an attorney during the probate process. In many cases, probate is a simple process that unfolds from beginning to end without any complications. However, this is not the case all the time. For this reason, many law firms offer help during probate.
Unfortunately, there are potential complications that can arise during probate. Some of these include:
- Different types of property can be probated in different states, based on the type and situation
- An unfamiliarity with the probate process
- A situation in which a will is contested by another party
It would be ideal to move through the probate process, one step at a time, without running into any concerns. This does happen for some, but others find that nothing could be further from the truth.
As you begin to search for a law firm that does probates, focus on finding an attorney who is experienced in this area of the law and has had past success with similar cases.
You are already going through a challenging time. The last thing you want is to be faced with complications during probate, as this will add more stress to your life.
If you have any questions about the probate process in Seattle Washington or need assistance, feel free to contact us at your earliest convenience.