When someone you love passes away, the legal ramifications, in addition to the mental and emotional ones, can make it feel impossible to navigate the complexities of probate on your own. (Probate is a court process of administering a deceased person’s assets and possessions to their heirs.) Depending on the circumstances of your loved one’s death, you may find yourself grappling with the legal intricacies of the process, family conflict, and other challenges that may arise during probate. In the midst of such an emotionally charged time, having professional guidance gives you the opportunity to focus on mourning your family member, while also ensuring that their monetary matters are properly managed so that you can avoid financial headaches!
That’s the general reason why getting help is beneficial. Let’s dive into some of the specific reasons that having a probate attorney on your side is essential!
- Legal Experience In Estate Matters
To put it plainly, probate is complicated. The Georgia probate process involves procedures that have to be carefully executed, like validating the will, distributing assets, settling debts, and more. Completing the steps of probate can be hard to do when you’re grieving, which is why having a probate attorney who is experienced in estate matters is crucial. A seasoned probate attorney can bring a wealth of knowledge to the table when it comes to state laws and regulations so that they can ensure you remain legally compliant throughout the entire process. If you choose to forego legal help, you might overlook pertinent details or deadlines, leading to costly mistakes that could delay financial jeopardy for you and your family. Putting experience in your corner can help give you the advantage you need in executing your loved ones wishes and gaining peace of mind.
- Mitigating Family Disputes And Challenges
When someone in your family passes away, disagreements among family members regarding their legacy can complicate your probate case. There are grounds on which someone can contest a will (which is a common cause of disputes amongst family members), including the age and mental stability of the will maker. No matter the reason for a will contest or other dispute, having a skilled probate attorney who will assist in mitigating family disputes and challenges by…
- Mediating Disputes – A probate attorney can create a neutral environment and apply mediation tactics to help family members resolve conflicts amicably
- Ensuring Adherence To The Law – A probate attorney can explain the probate process and guarantee that involved parties are acting in compliance with relevant statutes
- Protecting Your Loved One’s Wishes -A probate attorney can ensure that the proper steps are taken to fully honor the desires your loved one mapped out in their estate plan
…will make any disputes more likely to be resolved quickly and cost-effectively!
- Efficient Asset Management And Distribution
Two of the most critical steps of the probate process are determining the value of the estate (your loved one’s assets) and distributing said assets. This involves inventorying and appraising the assets. The inventory will account for real estate, bank accounts, personal property, and more. A probate attorney can connect you to the right professionals to help with this aspect of probate or assist you personally; their assistance will ensure that this process is carried out in accordance with the law to eliminate the risk of disputes and other complications.
- Debt Settlement And Creditor Communication
Help with debt settlement and creditor communication is another prime example of why you need a probate attorney. One of the biggest responsibilities an estate plan executor has is settling the decedent’s debts and notifying creditors of their passing. In Georgia, executors are expected to notify creditors within 60 days from the date of qualification, (the date you became the executor of an estate). Creditors are responsible for responding in a timely manner, and most of them will. You are then responsible for settling outstanding balances on credit cards, loans, and more. If you’re thinking this sounds complex, it is, especially because you shouldn’t just pay the creditors without attempting to negotiate first. A probate attorney can help you understand and fulfill your duties as accurately and efficiently as possible. They can force creditors to respect you and will give you an advantage during negotiations!
- Time And Cost Savings
You’ve probably gathered by now that the process of probate is time-consuming, but it’s also expensive. Without professional representation, your loved one’s assets (and even your own) have the potential to get tied up in probate, and the court and other legal fees associated with the process can escalate quickly. A probate attorney can alleviate unnecessary stress by saving you a significant amount of time and money. By simplifying the legal intricacies of probate, the time you spend in court can be reduced, which in turn reduces the legal fees you pay. Furthermore, their knowledge can prevent mistakes that would otherwise lead to costly complications (such as litigation).
How Fouts Law Group Can Help You
If a family member of yours has recently passed away, we want to first extend our condolences. We know how difficult it can be to grapple with such a significant loss while simultaneously handling the legal matters that come along with it. At Fouts Law Group, our probate attorney Jeff Fouts has 30+ years of experience with Georgia’s estate planning laws. He is familiar with the intricacies involved in the probate process. He will help you find a resolution that aligns with your loved one’s wishes. Call Fouts Law Group today to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation and learn about your next steps. You can trust that we’ll stand by your side with compassion during this challenging time.