Ridgeland Probate Administration: Should the Executor Retain an Attorney? 

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Losing a loved one often leads to a period of heightened emotions. But if you have been appointed as the Executor of your loved one’s estate, you should also focus on the death’s legal and practical ramifications. Probate estate administration in Ridgeland can be complex and time-consuming. Because of this, a lot of Executors may prefer to hire a probate lawyer to assist them through the probate process. 

Understanding How Probate Works

Nearly all people have an estate they leave behind after they die. The estate is composed of the assets the deceased owned at the time of death. These assets include assets and personal property that will ultimately be transferred to the named heirs and beneficiaries. If a person dies without a will, the court will determine who gets the assets according to state law. Before the transfer of assets takes place, estate creditors must be provided with the chance to file claims against the deceased’s assets. 

Why Hire an Attorney

Somebody should administer the estate and supervise the probate process. If a Will was executed before the death of the estate owner, the will must specify the named Executor. If there is no Will in place, a competent adult can volunteer to be the Executor pending approval from the court. An experienced attorney will help the executor supervise the probate process. They can help with the following:

  • Legal system navigation. Navigating an unfamiliar legal system immediately after losing a family member can be quite frustrating. A probate attorney can get rid of this frustration.
  • Knowledge of state and federal laws. Several state and federal laws govern probate. The Executor who has no knowledge of such laws can end up violating them. When this happens, they can be held accountable for such a violation. They can prevent this from occurring if they have an attorney on their side.
  • Costly mistake prevention. Those new to the duties of an Executor can easily make mistakes. They can miss assets, under or over-value assets, not notify creditors properly, or miscalculate the taxes owed. Any mistake made during the probate process can cost the estate significant amounts of money and time. By bringing an attorney on board, the Executor can avoid making costly mistakes.
  • Proper estate administration. Generally, the bigger and more significant an estate is the more time the probate process will take. An executor who has a demanding job and family to pay attention to can find it hard to devote time and resources to properly probate the decedent’s estate. 

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