Helping Families Successfully Navigate The Probate Process
The death of a family member is often an emotional and stressful time for relatives who are left to not only grieve, but also settle a loved one’s estate. Probate is the process through which an estate is administered and settled. The process is overseen by the probate court and culminates when all of a decedent’s debts, taxes and assets are paid and distributed according to a will or state laws.
Probate can be a complex and lengthy process and most people can benefit from the advice and assistance of an experienced attorney. The law firm of Attorney Phillip R. Walker, is experienced in probate administration and will provide the answers, advice and guidance your family members need to successfully navigate the probate process.
Can I Avoid Probate?
Sometimes, with the right strategy and timing, probate administration can be avoided, even if there is a will. Use of the small estate procedure and affidavits of inheritance can be used as substitutes for probate administration under certain circumstances.
Settling An Estate Through Probate
In cases where probate administration cannot be avoided and there is a will, the designated executor is responsible for settling an estate. If no will exists, the probate court will appoint an administrator to effectively act in the same capacity. Key responsibilities associated with the probate process include:
- Accounting for all assets
- Paying off debts
- Settling tax matters
- Distributing inheritances
Estate Disputes And Probate Litigation
While most estates are successfully resolved through the probate process, at times disputes may arise between or among family members and beneficiaries. Our attorney is committed to helping families resolve estate disputes as efficiently as possible, including those related to:
- Will contests – Were changes made to a will while a loved one lacked mental capacity or was under duress?
- Disputing an inheritance – Were family or business assets distributed unfairly or outside the scope of a will or trust?
- Breach of fiduciary duty – Did an executor, administrator or trustee fail to fulfill certain duties or mismanage funds?
We know that emotions often run high in these types of cases and we will do all we can to overcome any potential roadblocks and reach a just resolution.