After the death of a loved one, the mere thought of having to go through probate for a person’s estate can seem a little daunting. It is important to come prepared to the first meeting with the proper documents and questions to help the process go smoothly. It’s important to bring any documents that are related to the will and testament of the deceased, death certificate, deeds, bills, and anything else that you may believe vital to the process. Asking questions is another very important step in this process because it will help you decide whether or not you want to hire this person and follow through.
Here are 4 different questions anyone should ask a probate attorney at the first meeting.
- What is involved in probate?
It is important to ask this so the attorney can walk you through the entire process for probate and help you understand what to expect. It is vital to clear up any misunderstandings or confusions about probate so the process can go as smoothly as possible. A good follow up question would be “is probate even necessary?” In certain cases, probate may not be necessary, but every case and situation is different so it varies from situation to situation.
- What are the legal duties of the executor?
It is usually labeled in the will who the executor is per request of the deceased. This role is quite important to any situation since the executor is in charge of quite a few things. The most common duties of the executor are managing the estate property, distributing funds to people, and paying the rest of the financial liabilities of the deceased. Knowing what this role entails and what will be happening is very important to know so that way you can prepare yourself for what is going to happen.
- How are outstanding bills and liabilities handled?
This is something very important to go over with your attorney and to know the process of. Under some laws, it is stated that these outstanding liabilities and bills are paid from the proceeds of the estate and if there is not enough money to pay everything back, the executor is then in charge of the decisions of what to give and sell to pay all of the right people back. But those laws are different from state to state, so it is important to ask your attorney what is going to happen. There is also a specific order in which creditors are paid, which is stated by probate law, and it is important to know this order so the executor does not get any liabilities in the future.
- What do I do when someone is mishandling the estate?
In some cases, the executor is not the one who meets with the attorney and that can lead to some difficult situations. If the executor is mishandling the estate and the person meeting with the attorney is worried about it, it is important to tell them and explain the situation so the right steps are taken to help fix all wrongs. If ever in need of professional help with probate, contact this Palmdale CA probate firm.