The death of a loved one brings on a world of grief for those left behind. There is often a flurry of personal emotions such as fear, anger, guilt, sadness, and despair. And if that is not enough, there are well-meaning people who call, send cards, and stop by, often asking about events surrounding the final days. Wondering whether to contact an estate administration lawyer in WV to determine how the probate process works is usually not top-of-mind during such a difficult time.
The probate process can be complicated. Contact an estate administration lawyer in WV for help.
Whether a person has a Last Will and Testament or not, the probate process will apply in some fashion. However, the process can take much longer without a will, it can be much more stressful for heirs, and it is often more costly. You can read more about these and other important reasons why everyone needs an estate plan in my previous blog.
Probate: Your Estate Administration Lawyer in WV Can Help
To many people, even an explanation of the word "probate" may seem intimidating. Consider this definition from the Kanawha County (WV) Probate Office: "Probate is the legal process for which an Executor or Personal Representative can administer the estate of a deceased person, resolving all claims and distributing the deceased person's property either with or without a will." In layman's terms, probate is the process used to pay bills and distribute property of someone who has died.
Although probate matters are frustrating and intimidating to many people, an estate administration lawyer in WV is intimately familiar with the probate process, whether or not a will is involved.
Probate without a Will
Without the vital document of a Last Will and Testament in place before death, the probate process is more complicated and usually takes more time. Here are two common issues that are handled in the probate process when no will is present:
· The county commission must identify all possible heirs and provide them with notice of the proceedings.
· The commission must appoint a personal representative to manage the estate.
As you might expect, disputes often arise about both of these issues. For example, if no will exists that appoints an executor, different people may want to administer the estate, particularly if they perceive some benefit to serving in this role. Although "heirs have 30 days to make their request known," this dispute can last for quite some time.
Potential heirs may benefit from hiring an estate administration lawyer in WV. An attorney experienced in this area can help potential beneficiaries protect their inheritance rights.
Probate with a Will
An estate administration attorney can also help a personal representative comply with all applicable laws and navigate disputes after a loved one passes away with a will. Although the will nearly always designates a personal representative and discusses property distribution, these matters are not always clear.
While having a will often simplifies the probate process, disputes may still arise, and probating a will can be a major undertaking. For example, an estate must often be appraised to determine its value. Any possible creditors must be notified of the probate proceedings. Estate taxes and other liabilities, if applicable, must be paid. All debts must be paid from the estate; the executor handles making these payments from the funds of the estate.
Here again, the probate process can be made much easier with the help of a compassionate, experienced estate administration lawyer in WV. We can make sure that the estate is resolved in the least amount of time and in the most cost efficient manner possible. This preserves estate assets and allows those left behind to focus on healing rather than on dealing with the stress of probate.
Allow me to help you with the administration of your loved one's estate in WV.
There are no words that can be said to ease the pain from the loss of a loved one. I can, however, ease the difficulty of navigating the probate process to help resolve your loved one's estate so that you can move through the grieving process with less stress.
As an estate administration lawyer in WV, I would be honored to help you navigate the legalities of this difficult time. Contact me, Anna M. Price, directly by calling (866) 617-4736 or completing our firm's Contact form. I'll guide you through the probate process to make sure your loved one's memories are honored through the resolution of the estate.