Families can experience tremendous loss and emotional pain after losing a loved one. The last thing a family in mourning should have to go through is a convoluted probate process to legally administer the estate of the deceased. . Depending on the size and complexity of the estate, this process can take weeks, months, or even years. It’s important for families to work with an experienced Guilford County probate lawyer to navigate this process because of its complexity.
In Guilford County, probate is the process of court-supervised estate administration. The decedent’s estate is settled and distributed amongst the individuals or charities entitled to receive an inheritance from that estate. Because probate can take a significant amount of time, it’s important to be familiar with the actions you can or can not take as you move through the proceedings. The probate lawyers with The Elderlaw Firm can help you through the probate process, from start to finish, ensuring a smooth estate administration.
Our Guilford County Probate Lawyers Help You Understand How An Estate Is Distributed
After a loved one has passed, some family members may have questions about how an estate is distributed and when inheritances can be dispersed. By working with a qualified, trusted Guilford County probate lawyer, families can get these questions answered without waiting on the Court to find out. Should a beneficiary take property or assets from the estate before it’s properly distributed by the Court, there may be serious consequences.
It’s up to the Court or the person in charge of the estate to distribute the assets of the estate. A beneficiary is not entitled to take possession of property or monies, even if the deceased had given verbal authorization to do so or had immediate accessibility written into the will. . A beneficiary is not entitled to take possession of property or monies, even if the deceased had given verbal authorization to do so or had immediate accessibility written into the will. A beneficiary must wait until the property is distributed through the court process to receive his/her inheritance from the estate.
One of the responsibilities of the probate court is the reimbursement of creditors for the decedent’s unpaid debts. Probate will use any monies available. If there are not enough liquid assets to pay the debts, the family may be required to liquidate other estate properties until the debts are paid. This could mean liquidating what was promised to you if those assets are necessary for paying the outstanding debts.
To better understand how estates are distributed by the Court, consult with a Guilford County probate lawyer at The Elderlaw Firm. We’re experienced with the probate process and how it works. We’re prepared to answer any and all of your questions about inheritances, assets, and debts.
The Elderlaw Firm Can Help You Contest A Will
Should a family member suspect fraudulent behavior or other forms of tampering with the will of a loved one, they may consult with legal counsel to contest the will. This legal process can be challenging and complex. Working with a Guilford County probate lawyer can help you to understand your options and the ongoing legal procedures.
Under limited circumstances, you can contest the will. You will need to prove to the court that the will is invalid, either through fraud or someone’s undue influence on the deceased. The surviving spouse also may have claims against the estate, in addition to what he/she is set to receive under the terms of the will. It would not be advisable to contest a will simply because you don’t like what’s in it. The best time to contest a will is during probate before anyone has received any property. Typically, property will be distributed once your dispute is resolved.
Make Smart Plans For What To Do With An Inheritance You Just Received
In the event a loved one is lost and you receive an inheritance, you can make plans for what you’ll do with your inheritance once you receive it. Work with your estate planning attorney or financial advisor to know your options. If you’re the beneficiary of an IRA, you need to consider revising beneficiaries after you inherit the IRA. Developing a financial plan for inheritance is something our Guilford County probate lawyers can assist you with. We understand probate from start to finish, including planning a new estate around an inheritance distributed during probate.
Executors Should Consult Our Probate Lawyers
An executor is responsible for maintaining and managing the estate of a loved one once they’ve passed. This may include paying off debts, identifying assets, and more. This may seem straightforward on the surface, however, the role of an executor can be quite complicated especially for more complex estates.
For example, executors have a duty to make sure property doesn’t lose value. An executor can, for example, clean the house or pay someone to maintain it. However, they can’t let the property lose value or make it inherently different. For this reason, executors can’t renovate a single-family house into a multi-family rental unit. Sometimes the executor needs to sell the property, and doing so often requires court permission in advance.
We can see how the role of the executor can quickly become challenging. Without legal representation and guidance, it’s difficult for executors to understand what they can and cannot do with an estate during probate in North Carolina. Executors who work with our Guilford County probate lawyers can fulfill their duties with greater peace of mind and a trusted lawyer on their side.
If you are currently going through the Guilford County probate process and you have questions about what you can or can not do during the proceedings, feel free to contact our Guilford County probate lawyers. The Elderlaw Firm has helped countless families through probate, and we’re ready to help you, too. Schedule a confidential consultation today.