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Most probate cases don’t involve contests to wills, when there is a challenge, it generally occurs early in the probate process—prior to the distribution of assets. If a will that has already been probated were found to be invalid, the court would have to determine an equitable solution, and there’s no rule book for that.
You may be navigating a difficult emotional experience while simultaneously trying to handle the details of a probate process. Managing that combination requires, more than anything else, self-compassion and a willingness to seek help when you need it.
As the Coronavirus impacts more families in the United States, we are hearing from many people wondering how to protect their elderly family members. That is why we are offering a free Last Will and Testament and Medical Power of Attorney.
The probate process itself has not changed during the coronavirus pandemic, but some of the current circumstances—particularly social distancing protocols—may have changed the details of engaging with the probate court or a probate attorney where you live.
What if you don’t want to burden one person with all the work? Or hurt anyone’s feelings? Can you designate more than one executor? The short answer is yes, you can name multiple executors. But is it a good idea? That’s a bigger question.
One of the costliest parts of the probate process for many families is the cost of hiring an attorney. On average, a probate attorney costs between $3500 and $7000 for simple cases. But complex estates or contentious probate processes can cost significantly more.
“Intestate succession” is one of the most legalese-sounding phrases in the whole probate process. But it’s actually a relatively simple concept. When someone dies without a will, the laws of intestate succession determine how their estate’s assets will be distributed—no matter what.
The personal representative of an estate has a right to be paid for the services they provide to the estate. However, specifics like what state of residence and whether a valid will addresses compensation determine whether they are paid and if so, how much.
Depending on the complexity of the case and your agreement with them, a probate attorney may fill out and submit paperwork to the probate court, keep track of important dates, and accompany you to court for any hearings.
One of the most common questions about estate planning is whether someone should create a will or a trust. We can’t answer for you, but we can help you understand the pros and cons of each so that you can make an educated decision.
The short answer here is no, debt does not pass to the heirs of the estate. But to understand the bigger question (what does it mean for me if my loved one died with debt?), we’ll need to dive a bit deeper into how probate works.
Do you need to hire a probate lawyer? There’s a good chance that you don’t — which is very good news because hiring a probate attorney can be quite expensive. Attorney fees for a simple estate are generally between $3,000 and $7,000.