After the death of a loved one, hiring a Houston probate litigation attorney to represent you in case of a legal dispute is not an easy choice. Apart from the highly emotional state you are in, it is also quite expensive as well as a lengthy process. The probate law is quite complex and differs from one state to other. Trying to handle a complicated estate problem on your own can prove a lot more expensive and the result may be to your disadvantage.
Let us see under what circumstances you must think of hiring a lawyer to solve your probate problems.
Debts and Assets
If the loved family member has passed away without making a will, it may become necessary to hire a probate lawyer if the assets and debts are significant. It may be quite difficult for you to ascertain which of the debts are validated and legitimate and the best way that you can use the estate funds to pay them off.
Debts exceed Assets
If the assets of an estate are adequate to clear all the debts it will not pose much of a problem and any executor can complete the process without a hitch. In case the estate funds are not sufficient to clear all the debts then due diligence is needed. Which debts to be cleared and how the debts that cannot be paid are to be handled become matters on which decisions have to be made. Consulting a probate lawyer becomes essential as the law gives a certain type of creditors’ priority.
Discord in Family Interests
In case there is a conflict of interests among the family members, it can escalate quickly and disrupt the process of administering the estate. The unhappy family members may begin contesting the will and stop the administering of the estate. A will contest normally prolongs for a long time and drains away a lot of money from the person. Also, the market value of the estate gets adversely affected in case you plan to sell it.
In case the court appoints a particular family member as the executor and you are sure that he/she is not handling it appropriately, you can hire a probate lawyer to address your concerns under the laws and procedures of your state. The issue could be that the executor is not paying off the debts of the deceased or not filing the income tax returns pertaining to the estate or any other reason.
It can so happen that the loved one who has passed away has made a will but any one of the beneficiaries wants to contest it. Hiring a lawyer will help you in protecting your rights. Similarly it is also possible that you believe that the deceased was not of sound mind while creating the last will and testament. Consulting an attorney will help you in understanding your options and he may represent you in contesting the will.
You may have to hire a Houston probate court lawyer if there is a complication in administering the will. The problem could be of different types like debt clearing, inappropriate handling by the executor, contesting the will, etc. Consulting and hiring an attorney can help in taking the right steps to protect your rights and interests and safeguarding the estate.