If someone in your family has recently passed away, you might be one of the beneficiaries of his or her estate. If so, you might be preparing for the probate process, and you could be wondering what to expect and what you can do to make things a little bit easier. Knowing about the steps that can be taken and working with a good probate attorney can help a lot while you are going through this process. These are some of the steps that a good probate attorney can help you with.
1. Determining the Value of Your Deceased Loved One's Assets
First of all, before you can handle your loved one's assets, you will have to know what those assets are and how much they are worth. This can sometimes be a bit more complicated than it might seem, particularly if your loved one owned a business or a lot of property. Assets might include homes and land that your loved one owned, money that was put in various types of bank accounts and retirement accounts, and more. A probate attorney can help you with finding and valuing all of your loved one's assets, which can be a complicated and lengthy process to try to handle on your own.
2. Determining and Paying Any Money That Is Owed
Unfortunately, just because your loved one owned property and had money in the bank does not mean that the beneficiaries will be able to get the money. Typically, any bills that were left behind or other money that might have been owed by your loved one—such as back property taxes or income taxes, medical bills, and more—will have to be paid out first. Your probate attorney can help you determine how much money is owed and who the money is owed to and can then assist you with paying creditors.
3. Distributing Remaining Assets
Once the steps above have been handled, the remaining assets will have to be paid out to the beneficiaries. A probate attorney can help you with looking over the will and going through the process of distributing assets to who they are supposed to be paid for.
As you can see, there are various important steps that have to be gone through when handling a deceased loved one's final affairs. Luckily, a probate attorney can help you with handling these steps so that you can make sure that they are handled the right way. Reach out to firms like that of Katzman Logan Halper & Bennett to get assistance or learn more.