One of the things to keep in mind when you are making financial provisions for your loved ones is the fact that your estate must pass through the process of probate if you use a last will as your primary vehicle of asset transfer.
Everything has to take place in a transparent manner so that all interested parties have an opportunity to step forward and seek satisfaction from the estate of the deceased. This is going to include creditors, possible claimants, the tax man, and anyone who may want to contest the validity of the will or a portion of its contents.
In addition to the above, the assets that comprise the estate must be inventoried and prepared for distribution to the rightful heirs in accordance with the wishes of the deceased.
The estate is administered in a hands-on manner by the personal representative. Unless you choose a professional representative your administrator is probably not going to understand all of the intricacies of the probate process. This is where your probate attorney comes in.
Probate lawyers have a thorough understanding of the process, and beyond that a local probate lawyer is going to have a particular in-depth comprehension of the way that the local courts operate. A good probate attorney is invaluable as a guide that your personal representative can call upon for professional insight and advice.
Ryan, Hicks, Cumpton & Cumpton LLP is a member of the American Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys.