Somerset Probate Lawyer

Probate law is the process of settling financial matters after a person dies. These court proceedings are generally open to the public, and they offer beneficiaries and creditors an opportunity to make claims and be heard. While this process is complex, a seasoned estate planning attorney could help you navigate it.

When you have questions about handling these estate matters, now is the time to seek guidance from legal counsel. Any delay could result in complications that could have a lasting impact on all interested parties. A Somerset probate lawyer could answer your questions and guide you through each step.

When is Probate Necessary?

While this process is used to settle certain matters after a person passes away, not all their things of value are required to go through this process. However, without careful planning, a large number of estates will be required to deal with this time-consuming process.

The nature of the assets themselves will determine whether they must go through probate. An estate without any property that falls into that category could avoid the process entirely. Doing so could save substantial time and money. An attorney serving Somerset could advise what assets must go through this court process. Some examples include the following:

  • Bank accounts
  • Retirement accounts
  • Property held in trust
  • Assets with “Transfer on Death” designations

Many other forms of property are not excluded—even in situations where most of the property in an estate can take advantage of these exceptions. These include the following:

  • Gas rights
  • Real estate
  • Small businesses
  • Stock certificates
  • Personal property
  • Certain brokerage accounts

It is not unusual for a person tasked with administering an estate to have questions about what property is exempt and what is not. Experienced legal counsel could assist them with answering those questions on an item-by-item basis.

How an Attorney Could Help

There are plenty of reasons to rely on the guidance of a probate lawyer in Somerset. People involved in planning for their estate and administrators tasked with handling the court process could benefit from legal counsel.

One of the most important things an attorney can do is answer questions. The laws that involve the death of a loved one and the distribution of their assets are complex. An attorney could not only help a person understand how the law works in general, but they could also answer questions specific to that person’s case.

An attorney could also manage some of the more complex aspects of planning or administering an estate, such as possible tax questions. Administrators must pay off obligations like tax debt before they can release any of the proceeds to the heirs.

Complex issues must be addressed following the final distribution of assets. It is vital for an executor to comply with the law when it comes to the final report, and seasoned legal counsel could ensure they do so.

Reach Out to a Probate Attorney in Somerset Today

The good news is that despite the complex nature of this process, you do not have to face it on your own. Dealing with the loss of a loved one is difficult, but it can become a bit more bearable when an attorney takes some of the weight off your shoulders.

A Somerset probate lawyer could serve as your advocate throughout the entire process. Call us today to get started.