Posted on: 14 August 2017Share
Settling the estate of a loved one can be challenging, particularly if there was a complex will left behind or if the estate involves lots of different assets. Fortunately, a probate attorney can help you to get the estate settled and ensure that everyone gets the inheritance they are entitled to. Here are just some of the many services a probate attorney can provide.
Help With Contested WIlls
In a perfect world, a loved one leaves a will and everyone abides by the person's final wishes. However, this is not always the case. If a child or spouse was written out of the will, or if the family feels that a portion of the estate is going to an unworthy party, there may be a lawsuit filed against the estate. Contacting a probate attorney as soon as you hear that someone is considering filing a lawsuit can help you to begin taking the proper precautions to protect the estate and your loved one's final wishes.
Dealing With Estate Taxes
Estate taxes can be particularly burdensome, and the more money your loved one leaves behind, the higher the tax rate can be. As of 2016, the estate tax rate on an estate of $1 million or more can be up to 40 percent. Your probate attorney can help you to create family partnerships or other strategies that can help reduce the amount of taxes you'll be expected to pay on your inheritance. For example, you may be able to use certain exemptions if you are the spouse of the deceased. However, the rules for exemptions and gifts can be tricky, and your probate attorney can help you to ensure you handle the paperwork properly.
Transferring Real Estate Titles
If the estate involves real estate, your probate attorney can help with transferring titles for the properties to the appropriate parties. He or she can also help with buyouts, which sometimes are necessary if real estate has been left to multiple parties. For example, if the family home is left to all of the children and one person wants to keep it, he or she would have to pay for his or her portion of the home. That money would then be split between the other heirs. Your probate attorney can help with this task as well as with helping you to determine your tax liability for any real estate you inherit.
With complicated tax codes and possibly complex financial dealings, a probate attorney can help you to settle your loved one's estate so you can focus on dealing with your loss and not the will.