Losing a loved one can be a tough event to get through. If you have been left as the executor on their will, which includes real estate, you may have legal hurdles to deal with as well. The good news is, probate lawyers can guide you through the process efficiently, as long as you are prepared on your end for what is needed.
1. Work out a Unified Front With Siblings or Loved Ones
If you haven't been granted sole inheritance of a family home, sometimes squabbles can fire up over what to do with a property once a loved one is gone. Decisions don't need to be hammered out right away, but you may all be asked to attend an initial probate meeting with your family to get the ball rolling. If you can, start the discussion offline and before you all step into your probate attorney's office. You might save yourself some billable hours working out initial logistics and identifying discrepancies on your own.
2. Have One Main Contact for Probate Moving Forward
If you are the executor of your loved one's estate, make the process more efficient for your lawyer by opting to be the sole contact for information. While other family members may have been at initial hearings or meetings, during the paperwork and fact-finding process, it can eat up time if more than one family member is involved in the process or contacting your lawyer.
3. Keep Affected Family Members in the Loop
The probate process works to settle the deceased debts against existing property, and then can disburse the remaining estate among beneficiaries. This step can be time consuming and may have changes along the way, so it is important to keep others that will be affected in the loop. It wouldn't be fair for other loved ones to hear about curve balls or unpaid liens against a home at the final hearing. This could also drag out the final process of closing your probate case if there is opposition to findings.
4. Be Prepared to Go to Court
Many times, a court hearing will be involved in probate cases in the small chance that others entitled to property have an opportunity to be present. While this can be seen as a minor hurdle in your process, you should also be informed and prepared. If you can attend this hearing with your probate attorney, you will be ready for any curve balls that might may add time to the process, such as appeals or additional court dates.
Working through your loved one's will and dealing with their estate can seem like a lengthy process, but having the right probate attorney on your side can help. If you can take steps to make the probate process efficient from your end, you can close this chapter in your life and move on. Read more about this topic here.