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The Probate Process: A Brief Outline

02.04.2015 by Law Firm of Seglund Gabe Pawlak Groth & Kelley in Probate

A probate attorney helps clients navigate through the probate process after the death of a loved one and to ensure the efficient execution of a will and estate.

When a person dies, there is a specific legal process that is required to ensure that their assets and wishes are managed properly. This legal process is known as the probate process. The probate process is designed to ensure the estate of a deceased person is managed and distributed appropriately. It also addresses concerns or disputes regarding inheritances and other issues. A probate attorney assists clients in navigating this process and can answer and assist with the following phases of probate:

Validity of the Will

The probate process encompasses many aspects. For example, the probate process is necessary to determine whether or not a will or living trust exists and is valid. This is normally a routine process, but is imperative to managing the estate properly. Questions and disputes regarding the validity or existence of a will must be made through the court system and, for such situations, the family of the deceased may need or want the assistance of a probate attorney.

Identification of Property and Settlement of Estate

The probate process also deals with the identification and management of a deceased person’s estate. This may include identifying all assets and property, appraising assets, and identifying or naming a personal representative. The personal representative (formerly the executor) of the will is then responsible for managing the distribution or sale of all assets and property and payment of any necessary tax or debt obligations on behalf of the deceased person. For example, if the deceased person has outstanding debts, the personal representative of the will may have to sell property or assets to raise the funds necessary to settle the debts or tax obligations.

Distribution of Assets

The most commonly recognized function of the probate process is the distribution of remaining property to heirs or other beneficiaries. This distribution is determined by the will or according to state law in cases where no valid will exists.

A probate lawyer assists families and personal representatives in managing the many aspects of the probate process. In most cases, this includes completing paperwork, appearing in court, and helping manage any disputes or concerns that may need to be addressed in court. The probate process may take anywhere from a few months to a year for every step to be carried out.

If you have been named the personal representative of a will or have recently lost a loved one and need assistance with the probate process, a professional probate attorney is a smart choice. By hiring a lawyer, you gain peace of mind knowing the probate process will be executed efficiently and accurately without adding an extra burden during an already difficult time.

Michigan Legal Solutions

bruceOur experienced attorneys are committed to providing our clients with the guidance and support that they need to resolve their estate and probate issues. With over five decades serving clients in Southeastern Michigan, the attorneys of Michigan Legal Solutions (Seglund Gabe Quinn Elowsky & Pawlak, PLC) have the knowledge and resources to resolve your legal matters.

The laws pertaining to estates, administration of trusts, guardianship and other cases in Probate Court are complex and ever changing. Experienced legal counsel can help navigate the maze of procedures involved in handling a decedent’s estate, guardianship, conservatorship or trust. Contact our team today to set up an initial consultation.

Michigan Legal Solutions
28345 Beck Road, Suite 401
Wixom, MI 48393
Phone: (248) 869-0030
Fax: (248) 869-0039
Email: main@michlaw.biz

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