Probate, Estates & Trusts
Probate is the legal process of administering an individual’s estate after he or she passes away. If you find yourself in the situation of dealing with a decedent’s estate – or if you are planning for your own estate, you may ask yourself: Do I need a probate lawyer?
Probate law, and dealing with estate planning, trusts and estates after someone dies can be a complicated and sensitive situation. The experienced probate attorneys at Kelley & Evanchek have handled all types of probate and estate cases, and we are here to help.
Probate Administration of Decedent’s Estate
Administering a will in probate can involve many different steps, including:
- Proving Validity of the Will
- Collecting Decedent’s Assets
- Placing Value on the Decedent’s Property
- Liquidating Liabilities
- Paying Necessary Debts & Taxes of the Estate
- Distributing Property to Beneficiaries
Will proceedings can be administered by a Personal Representative, either someone named in the decedent’s will or an attorney. If no will was left (intestate), the Personal Representative, or Executor, will be appointed by the Probate Court.
In most probate cases, the court is not involved unless there is a challenge to the will or Personal Representative.
In planning for an individual’s or couple’s estate, each situation is different. Some require a trust, while others will write up a will. Other cases may not require any type of will at all.
Estate planning involves arranging and communicating how the estate is to be dispersed upon death.
There are a number of different documents that can be used in this process, such as:
- Power of Attorney
- Other Estate Planning Tools