Farmington Probate Lawyer
Probate is the process of administering an estate, or more simply put it is the process of proving the validity of a deceased person’s will. After a testator passes away, their will names an executor or administrator to their estate. It is the executor’s duty to distribute the decedent’s assets to beneficiaries, but before that can take place the will must pass through probate. Due to the complexities involved in the probate process, it is highly recommended that you reach out to an experienced Farmington probate lawyer. The attorneys at the Law Office of Brian S. Karpe will help you navigate these confusing legal waters to ensure no mistakes are made, and that the will is proved valid in as timely of a manner as possible.
What Does the Probate Process Entail?
Probate begins with the executor filing a petition with the probate court. The court will then appoint an executor or administrator (most likely you) and issue you letters of administration that enable you to act on behalf of the estate. Next comes the time-consuming and difficult part of probate: identifying and valuing assets, locating assets, paying creditor debts, paying any necessary taxes, and finally distributing assets to beneficiaries according to the will. The court oversees this entire process, scrutinizing the executor’s actions to ensure that there is no intentional wrong-dong and that there are no mistakes made.
Working With a Probate Administrator
If the above probate process sounds time-consuming, confusing, and complicated, that is because it is. Probate is usually handled by an attorney, who will petition the court, file paperwork, locate and value property of the estate, determine what creditors actually need to be paid, pay heirs and beneficiaries, and take on all other aspects of the probate process.
Perils For an Executor of Going Through Probate Without an Attorney
Because the executor or administrator to the estate is almost always a close family member—and more often than not a spouse, sibling, or adult child of the decedent—they are usually in a state of grieving in the months following their loved one’s death. Often, they are in a state of trauma if the death was sudden or unexpected. Probate is a complicated enough process in its own right, but when an executor’s emotional reserves are already drained, it is easy to make mistakes or get overwhelmed. Furthermore, the executor has a fiduciary duty to the estate. As such, errors can lead to arguments, legal conflicts, and even lawsuits filed against the executor—matters that no family wants during a time of grieving and loss.
Call a Farmington Probate Lawyer Today
Probate is a confusing, complicated process that requires a high level of legal knowledge and plenty of time on one’s hands. Probate administration should be left up to legal professionals, such as the Farmington probate lawyer at The Law Office of Brian S. Karpe. To schedule a free consultation and to speak with a lawyer today, call us at 860-217-1458 at your soonest convenience.