Category: Lawyers

Do I need a probate lawyer?

Probate Lawyer

If you are unsure of whether or not you need a probate lawyer, contact an AZ probate lawyer today. We focus on probate and other estate planning legal services for residents in the Phoenix area. Probate is not always necessary, but it is a legal process and so it’s important that the Court’s requirements are met and that the applicable rules are followed. Lawyer offices often offer a complimentary consultation with our probate lawyer to determine which, if any, of our legal services you may be in need of. We welcome you to call us and make an appointment today to learn more.

What is probate?

Probate is a legal process that is handled by a probate court and judge following the death of someone and its focus is to determine if the decedent’s will is legitimate and how the assets should be distributed if there was no valid will. In addition, if the will does not designate an executor to manage the estate, the probate judge will name someone. Usually, that person is a close relative of the decedent. There are other aspects of the probate process that may also come into play, depending on the circumstances. Your probate lawyer can tell you if any of the following will be necessary during probate:

  • Validate the decedent’s will.
  •  Appoint an executor to follow the instructions of the will and eventually close out the estate.
  • Determine the location of each of the estate’s assets and assess the value of each asset.
  • Identify each beneficiary and which should inherit which asset or assets and the amount of each, such as cash or percentages of liquidated assets.
  • Payment of estate taxes and debts to creditors.

 What does a probate attorney do? 

A probate lawyer provides legal counsel to an estate’s executor or the will’s beneficiaries of a decedent’s estate. Every situation is different and so a probate lawyer’s tasks and responsibilities varies from one case to the next. In large part, the probate lawyer’s actions will be guided by the probate laws of the State of Arizona and whether or not the decedent died without leaving a valid will. Some of the services that our probate lawyer can provide clients includes:

  • Identify and locate the estate’s assets.
  •  Appraise the value of the estate’s assets.
  • File all required documentation for the probate process to the correct authorities and before the deadline expires.
  • Provide legal guidance to the estate’s executor as to payment of the decedent’s debts and bills (including burial costs if appropriate), and liquidation of assets in order to pay the estate’s debt and taxes.
  •  Assist in settling any disputes that arise between the estate’s beneficiaries and/or with the executor.
  • Provide guidance during the distribution of the decedent’s assets to the named beneficiaries.

Should I hire a probate attorney?

Ultimately, this is a personal decision but in many cases, hiring a probate lawyer is beneficial when the goal is to streamline the process and ensure that it is completed lawfully and correctly. Contact us at a probate lawyer today and request a free consultation.

 


 

Thank you to our friends at Kamper Estrada, LLP for their information on probate lawyers.

Filing for a Probate Conservatorship

Probate Lawyer

 It is difficult to watch a loved one become incapacitated. When someone you love is unable to care for him or herself, or properly manage their finances, you may want to pursue a conservatorship. This type of legal appointment can allow you to care for your family member. To become a conservator, you must first ask a judge to grant you the authority to act on your loved one’s behalf. The petition process can be difficult, so it is important to consult with an experienced probate attorney before you begin.

A Conservator’s Duties

There are two types of probate conservator: a conservator of the person, and a conservator of the estate. Each type has different responsibilities, but the court closely monitors both types of conservatorship. A conservator of the person makes personal decisions for the conservatee, who is unable to care for him or herself. These decisions can include choices about food, clothing, residence, and routine medical care. However, the conservator cannot make these routine medical decisions if the conservatee forbids such.

On the other hand, a conservator of the estate manages the conservatee’s financial matters. In such a case, the conservator can pay bills, invest assets, manage daily finances, and collect payments (like disability or pension payments) for the conservatee. Sometimes, one person fulfills both conservator roles.

Regardless of the type of probate conservatorship, the court will be closely involved. Probate laws dictate these types of conservatorship and require close court monitoring. These laws are designed to protect the conservatee, who cannot advocate for him or herself. The judge who appoints the conservator is obligated to conduct a review, typically six months after the appointment and then one year after the appointment. After those two initial reviews, the judge will make follow-up reviews each year. Again, this is to ensure that the conservatee is being properly cared for and that his or rights are being protected.

Get Conservatorship Help Now

If you believe a loved one is unable to care for him or herself, you may be able to petition the court to grant you a conservatorship. This can be a lengthy legal process and involves many complex steps. The law grants preference to those who can act as conservator, based on their relation to the conservatee. Generally, spouses are preferred to act as conservators. If there is no spouse, or the spouse is not qualified, the following people may act as conservator (in order of legal preference):

  • Adult child
  • Parent
  • Sibling
  • Other persons permitted by law
  • Public guardian

If you are concerned about a family member who is unable to care for him or herself, contact a skilled probate lawyer in Cherry Hill, NJ. Experienced lawyers understand the complicated state probate laws and will thoroughly explain your legal options to you. Call a law office today to schedule a free and confidential consultation.

Thanks to Klenk Law for their insight into estate planning and probate conservatorship.