How Should You Prepare For Your Meeting With A Potential Probate Attorney?

The death of someone you love is always a difficult and painful time in your life. Through all of the other processes you have to go through, you also have to deal with the legal processes and procedures. Management of assets, such as properties and estate can always be a difficult task to face, especially under circumstances like this one. Management needs to be handled in a professional and careful manner.

So, it is a wise choice to hire a probate attorney who will be able to complete the dispersal of the estate. From where you stand, the process may seem complicated and difficult, buy an attorney with experience can make sure the process will be smooth and pain f

What To Ask A Probate Attorney

  • Ask about the level of experience and the area of specialty.
  • Ask what papers and documents you will need to bring with you when you have your consultation.
  • Ask if there are any problems that may occur during the process.
  • Ask the attorney about the kind of probate cases he or she has handled.
  • Ask about past clients.
  • Ask about the legal fees.
  • Ask about the choice of communication methods.

Meeting with a probate attorney can be a bit nerve-wrecking and overwhelming. It can be very easy to forget to take your necessary documents with you, and to ask questions you wanted answered. If it is your first meeting or your third meeting with a probate attorney, you can write down a list of questions that you would like to address during your meeting. When you write down your questions and bring them with you, you will have everything in front of you.

A main goal at your consultation meeting is to be able to determine if you are going to hire the probate attorney sitting in front of you. When you take time to be prepared for your meeting, you will assure yourself that you are going into the meeting with the right mind frame and the right paperwork to give the attorney everything he or she needs to start working on your case.

If you are looking for an probate attorney to help ease your family members pain by dealing with the legal complications, contact us.

Wills and Estate Advice: How Can You Coordinate Your Estate Planning with Other People’s Plans?

The Wall Street Journal recently came out with an informative article entitled, “Five Reasons for Parents to Reveal Estate Plans.”

All of the reasons discussed in the article are important to consider as you work on your estate planning. In addition to possibly preparing your children for disappointments, there are also other practical reasons for sharing your estate plan, including receiving invaluable feedback from your children and also coordinating your plan to better accommodate their estate plans, financial situation and personal lifestyle.

Coordinating your estate plan with other people

When it comes to writing up wills and other estate documents, it could be beneficial for you and your loved ones to all be on the same page. This includes not only your children but also other family members and perhaps close friends and other trusted beneficiaries.

One relatively obvious example is if you have young kids and are considering who would be their guardians should you pass away. You need to know if the people you name as potential guardians have the means and ability to raise your kids. There might also be reciprocity, where you’re named as potential guardians for their kids. In this kind of situation, it could be a good idea to sit together and coordinate at least this aspect of your estate plans.

Other elements of coordination could include various trusts. You need to work with your children and other beneficiaries to determine what trust(s) would be most beneficial for all of you when it comes to tax purposes and any financial problems you currently have. This is especially true if you have a rather complex estate in which relatives might be inheriting property jointly.

Don’t hesitate to contact us to discuss these issues. Estate planning should ideally occur with the input of trusted people and in coordination with their own plans. An experienced estate attorney can provide you with invaluable advice and offer you powerful solutions tailored to your personal circumstances.

Under estate law, are you liable for your parents’ debts?

Are your parents in debt?

Statistics reported by show that from the early 1990s onwards, seniors have made up an increasing percentage of people who file for bankruptcy. Medical expenses, job loss and poor investment decisions are among the problems that can leave people in debt; and the recession has cut into many people’s retirement savings.

One of the concerns you may have if you’re inheriting money and various assets from your parents is whether the law also requires you to take on their debt.

Are you on the hook for parental debt?

In general, you can’t personally be held liable for your parents debts. If the debts are enormous, you may get harassed by very aggressive creditors (in which case, you’d need to consult with an attorney on what to do to get them off your back). But in most cases, the only way in which you’ll be affected is that the debts would have to be paid out of your parents’ estate.

Certain assets, such as IRAs, could be exempt from creditors. But if your parents left you their home, for example, creditors might try to seize it. Every asset that creditors successfully claim from the estate means that there’s less for you and any other beneficiaries.

When could you be held responsible?

Sometimes, you may be directly on the hook for parental debt. If you cosigned on any loans with your parents or held any account jointly with them, you’ve likely taken on yourself the obligation to pay off those debts; it’s important to read the fine print of any loan or account you’re a part of.

Another situation to consider is if you’re the executor of your parents’ estate, and you fail to notify creditors and act to pay off the debts using the assets in the estate; in that case, you wouldn’t be living up to your obligations as an executor and might face legal and financial troubles.

Parents and children will hopefully have an honest conversation about any debts that are likely to remain at the time of the parents’ death. Contact us for further advice on how to handle debts as part of your estate planning and discuss possible ways to shield assets from creditors.