(304) 523-2100 Huntington, WV

Wills, Trusts & Estates
Contact Today
The information you obtain at this site is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. You should consult an attorney for advice regarding your individual situation. We invite you to contact us and welcome your calls, letters and electronic mail. Contacting us does not create an attorney-client relationship. Please do not send any confidential information to us until such time as an attorney-client relationship has been established.

Jenkins Fenstermaker, PLLC

325 Eighth Street

Huntington, WV 25701-2225

Phone (304) 523-2100

Toll Free (866) 617-4736

Probate Matters

Tristate Probate Matters Attorney

The Importance of a Tristate Probate Matters Attorney

Probate is the judicial process of verifying the validity of a will, a legal document that instructs the personal representative on how to distribute the decedent’s estate and pay the debts existing at the time of death. The probate court oversees that process and, when needed, may also be called to interpret provisions in the will. 

For a non-lawyer personal representative, understanding the process and protecting the rights of heirs can be complicated. An experienced tristate probate matters attorney can guide you through the process and help assure that the rightful heirs rights are protected along the way.

The Maze of Probate Matters

Executing a will is an important part of estate planning. People sometimes forget the hazards of dying without a valid will. In such cases, the belongings and financial assets of the deceased may be held up in probate matters for months or even years. 

Even if your loved one left a valid will, the process can be confusing. The probate of a will involves a series of legal events and sometimes hearings that an estate must go through before any property or financial accounts can be distributed. Not all cases are the same, but the following steps are common:

The probate court appoints a personal representative, or executor, to serve as the person in charge of carrying out the instructions in the will regarding the distribution of the estate.

  • Anyone who would like to make a claim to the assets of an estate will have an opportunity to do so.
  • Anyone claiming to be a creditor of the estate will have an opportunity make a claim to collect debts incurred by the deceased prior to death. 
  • If there are any disputes, the court will hold hearings to resolve such disputes and determine how best to distribute the assets and pay the debts of the estate in accordance with the will. 

This process can become a complex maze that only adds to the stress and grieving process you are already experiencing. An experienced probate matters attorney in Huntington can help you with this process whether your’e in WV, KY, or OH. 

Protect the Interests of the Rightful Heirs of the Estate

Part of a personal representative’s job in the probate process is to protect the estate for the benefit of the rightful heirs. In some cases, disputes may arise about things like validity of an heir’s status, the proper amount of an heir’s distribution, or even the identity of assets and debts of the estate. In such cases, the payment of the estate’s debts and the distribution of the property, financial accounts, real estate, jewelry, fire arms, and any other family heirlooms may be held up for years as the probate courts and appointed executors attempt to determine how the estate should fairly be distributed under the will. 

Distribution of an estate is even more difficult if someone challenges the will or if the decedent failed to leave a will at all. Further, anyone can make a claim as an heir to an estate if he or she feels entitled to inherit part or all of the estate. In any of these cases, family and loved ones with a claim to the estate need guidance from a skilled probate attorney. 

Choose a Sensitive and Experienced Tristate Probate Matters Attorney

For more information on navigating the probate process in West Virginia (WV), Kentucky (KY), or Ohio (OH), you can reach us using our online contact form or by calling (304) 523-2100 or (866) 617-4736 toll-free.