Dealing with legal matters can often be overwhelming, especially when it comes to matters of probate. If you're not careful, an estate can get caught up in a probate for years to come. Unfortunately, you can't access funds from the estate until these issues get resolved. Probate is the legal process of distributing your loved one's assets. It is possible to navigate probate court without legal help. But, a probate service can help you avoid some of the mistakes that can derail your claim. If you're in charge of handling your loved one's estate, read the list below. If any of these issues pertain to you, it's time to hire an estate attorney. They can help you navigate the probate system.
You Need to Resolve Debt Issues
If your loved one left outstanding debts, don't try to deal with creditors by yourself. Creditors will go after the estate as soon as they find out that your loved one has passed away. If you don't resolve the outstanding debt, creditors could come after you and the other beneficiaries. That's where an estate attorney becomes beneficial. An estate attorney can help you manage the debt your loved one left behind. That can include setting up payment plans, or negotiating smaller settlements. That way, you're able to keep more of your loved one's assets.
You Want to Limit Tax Liability
If you haven't thought about the tax implications, now's the time to sit down with an estate attorney. You might not know it, but taxes can take a large cut out of an estate. Your loved one's estate might be affected by capital gains taxes, estate taxes, and income taxes. That's especially true if your loved one didn't take steps to protect you from those tax liabilities. If you don't hire a probate service, you could pay more in taxes than you'd expect. That's why you need to hire an estate attorney before your loved one's estate goes into probate. An estate attorney will help you avoid penalties for failing to pay those taxes. But, they can also help you reduce your tax liability.
You Have a Complex Estate
If your loved one left behind a complex estate, you're going to need legal assistance with the accounts. Complex estates can contain real estate, investment accounts, and business ownership, while some complex estates also contain offshore accounts. If your loved one left that type of estate, hire an estate attorney immediately. Your attorney can help you avoid mistakes with the distribution of wealth.
To learn more, contact an estate attorney near you.