When a loved one dies, you have to go through the probate process to ensure his or her property is taken care of. Hiring a probate lawyer is the best way to ensure the process goes smoothly. When you hire a lawyer, the first thing to do is understand your role. You have two options. You can either turn your probate case over to the lawyer, or you can handle it yourself and consult the lawyer with questions or small amounts of help. In this blog, we will discuss how to handle both situations.
Letting your lawyer represent you fully
If you turn your case over to your lawyer, you still have the responsibility of gathering and protecting assets, take inventory, and paying bills. However, you will likely feel much better having an expert handling the court-related duties of preparing and filing paperwork.
There will be many papers on your end and many phone calls to make. You can sort through the deceased person’s papers and call agencies and institutions. Talk to your lawyer and make sure you both understand who is going to to what, including:
- Make an inventory of the estate’s property
- Have certain property appraised if needed
- Deposit the will with the correct probate court
- Order copies of the death certificate
- Prepare and file the deceased’s final income tax return
Using your lawyer as a coach
Probate cases simply involve a lot of paperwork. Therefore, if no one is fighting over the estate and your court provides fill-in-the-blanks probate forms, you may be able to handle the whole thing yourself. However, it can be great to have a lawyer who can advise you.
Contact the OMG Law Firm in Jonesboro today for the knowledge and experience of our expert probate lawyers.