While it’s not necessary to hire a probate lawyer, it’s helpful to do so under certain conditions. Probating a will is a two-pronged process. First, the will must be validated, and second, its terms must be executed. Both of these steps involve considerable administrative paperwork and, in many cases, Probate Lawyers in Vernon CT can provide invaluable assistance in the areas listed below.
Filing the Will
According to uniform probate code, an interested party can file a will in court without probate if they are the deceased person’s representative. Though states’ laws vary, filing a will typically involve the completion and submission of a petition form. It may be beneficial to have a lawyer’s help during this phase to ensure that the papers are completed and filed correctly.
Proving the Will’s Validity
In some cases, there’s no controversy over a will’s validity. However, in other instances, there may be a dispute as to whether a will is legally sufficient for probate. Wills must meet minimal criteria in content and form, and they must be properly witnessed. Recent wills typically take precedence over older versions and in validity disputes, it is best to seek advice from a probate lawyer.
After a will is validated, the next phase of the process is to administer the decedent’s estate according to the will’s instructions. The probate court will choose a representative, which itself is a source of debate. The representative’s job is to inventory the estate’s liabilities and assets, notify beneficiaries, pay debts, and distribute assets. Because this step involves detailed paperwork and complex transactions, it is wise to consult Probate Lawyers in Vernon CT unless the estate is minimal.
Transactional vs. Litigation Attorneys
When determining whether to hire a probate lawyer, the client should consider the type of legal help they need. While many attorneys handle transactional and litigation law, it’s important to hire an attorney with the desired skill set. For instance, if the estate has no issues with will validity or representative selection, but has significant assets, it may be beneficial to hire an attorney with a focus in this area. Conversely, if the will’s validity is in question, hiring a skilled litigator with Kahan Kerensky and Capossela LLP can provide a great benefit.