When you are trying to settle and close an estate, having a probate lawyer Memphis, TN trusts on your side could speed up the process. At Patterson Bray our primary focus is on estate matters. This includes drafting wills and trusts, administering an estate, probating an estate, litigating an estate, and more. With decades of experience, we have a sound reputation throughout the Memphis area. Regardless of what your own needs might be, we encourage you to give a probate lawyer Memphis, TN relies on a call.
Choose Patterson Bray to Be Your Legal Advocates
Not all lawyers are probate lawyers, and before you hire the first legal representative you find, you should ensure they have experience in this field. By choosing Patterson Bray, please know that we are:
If you are interested in learning more about our services or procedures, please call a Memphis, RN probate lawyer from Patterson Bray.
The Probate Process
Probate is a process that is overseen by the executor of the estate, and who has been named by the testator (i.e. person who has drafted the estate plan). Probate will involve an inventory and distribution of assets after the testator has died. In addition to this all debts and taxes will need to be paid.
Prior to the beginning of the probate process, a will and a petition to probate must be filed with the state. If no will exists, the state typically becomes involved and appoints someone as the administrator. It is also a time in which a will contest could arise. This would involve at least one individual who is disputing some portion, or all, of the will. If you are in anyway involved in a will dispute, you should consult a probate lawyer in Memphis, TN as soon as possible.
As soon as the court accepts the will and petition, the probate process begins. This could take between 30 days and 6 months, to one year or more.
What a Memphis, TN Probate Lawyer Can Do
The challenges that could arise in the probate process may vary, and largely depend on the factors involved. In general, it can be helpful to have a trusted probate lawyer from Memphis, TN guide you through the process. Executors of a will can ask a probate lawyer to assist in any of the following tasks:
An Overview of the Steps You Will Have to Take as an Executor
If you are the executor of an estate and would like help with the probate process, call a probate lawyer Memphis, TN residents rely on from Patterson Bray at 901-372-5003.
What are the advantages of probate?
If you hire a skilled probate lawyer Memphis TN trusts to assist with probate, it can be quite beneficial to your beneficiaries. During this court-supervised process, the executor of your will gathers your assets and distributes them to your heirs. Let’s take a look at some of the advantages of probate:
Heirs Can Challenge the Will
Wills sometimes include mistakes that may negatively affect heirs. Luckily, probate allows heirs the opportunity to challenge a will in situations like these. If they believe there is a mistake in the will, they have the right to file a claim against the estate. One of the most common reasons for challenging a will is testamentary capacity. In order for a will to be valid, the person who created it must have the mental capacity to do so. A probate lawyer Memphis TN respects may have represented heirs who have challenged wills because the person who created it suffered from dementia or another illness at the time.
Creditors Have a Limited Time to File Claims
At the time of a person’s death, the executor of the will has to notify creditors so that they have enough time to submit claims. Creditors who wish to collect debts from the decedent have to do it within a certain timeframe. A Memphis probate lawyer may have represented clients who didn’t have to pay their deceased family member’s death because the creditors failed to file claims on time.
Creditor Claims Can Be Challenged
The deceased person’s family members are allowed to challenge creditor claims they believe aren’t valid. Creditors may try to collect debts that the deceased person doesn’t actually owe. Clients might hire a probate lawyer in Memphis TN to help them avoid paying unnecessary debts by bringing creditors to court and proving their claims invalid.
Guardianship Wishes Are Honored
People with minor children want to make sure their children will be taken care of by the right person if they die. When drafting a will, individuals are allowed to name the person they want to take care of their minor children. As a probate lawyer Memphis TN counts on might attest, in most cases, the probate court honors designation of guardianship. Typically, the only time a court doesn’t grant guardianship wishes is if there’s evidence that the appointed guardian is unfit to take care of children. In those rare circumstances, the court appoints guardianship to someone better suited.
Transferring Assets Is Easier
Probate alternatives, like a living trust, can make transferring assets more difficult. Some assets, like recent lawsuit awards, can get overlooked and not get transferred to the trust. A will, however, ensures that assets are transferred to the designated beneficiaries.
Benefits of Hiring a Probate Lawyer
A deceased person’s estate has to go through a probate process before beneficiaries can inherit their assets. It can be quite a complicated and stressful process, especially during this difficult time. However, if you hire an experienced lawyer to help you through the process, things may be a little easier. Here are some of the benefits of hiring a probate lawyer in Memphis, TN.
A complaint many people have about the probate process is how long it takes. The entire process can take up to a couple of years to complete. However, if you have an experienced probate lawyer in Memphis, TN on your side, it can take as little as a few months. A lawyer can help you fill out the appropriate paperwork on time so that there aren’t any delays.
After a loved one has died, it’s normal to feel a wide range of emotions. When you’re already dealing with so much grief and stress, you don’t want to worry about probate on top of that. This is where a probate lawyer comes in. They can handle all the legwork for you so that you can focus on taking care of yourself and your family.
Prevent Conflicts With Family
It can take the court a while to prove that a will is legitimate. When family members have to wait a long time to inherit their assets, they can become angry and argue with one another. That’s the last thing you want to happen during an already difficult time. If you have a skilled probate lawyer in Memphis, TN on your side, they can speed up the process and help reduce family conflict.
Find Out Debts of Estate
There may be some debts that are owed by the estate. These debts must be paid off before assets can be distributed to heirs. By hiring a probate attorney, you can quickly find out what debts are owed and pay them off right so that family members can gain access to their assets.
Distribute Assets Properly
It’s important for all assets to get distributed properly so that every beneficiary gets what they’re entitled to. A probate lawyer in Memphis, TN can ensure that this happens and that everyone is treated fairly.
Assistance With Will Contests
There are certain circumstances where a will can be contested. For example, if you believe the testator signed the will when they weren’t of sound mind, you may contest the will in court. However, this can be tricky to do if you don’t have any legal experience. A skilled probate lawyer, on the other hand, does have this experience and can help you contest the will in a timely manner.
As you can see, there are many advantages to hiring a probate lawyer in Memphis, TN. If your loved one recently passed away, you should make an appointment to see a qualified probate lawyer in your area to discuss your options.
What Happens When Someone Dies Without Leaving a Will?
Dealing with the death of a loved one is stressful enough. Finding out that there was no will may make things harder in the days and months after the funeral.
When a person dies without leaving a will, the laws of the state regarding succession kick in. Leaving loved ones behind without any instruction on how to handle affairs and property can place a significant amount of stress on already burdened shoulders. Knowing what might happen should you die without a will may make you rethink the decision not to create one.
Dying without a will is called dying intestate. It means there is no indication of how you want property divided and no heirs listed to inherit. When a person dies intestate, local laws may dictate what type of process must occur next to dispose of your property, assets, debt and the like.
Understanding Who Inherits First
If a person dies intestate and is married or living with a qualified domestic partner, there is a good chance that the lion’s share of the estate will pass on to that person. In some instances, however, this does not always occur. If the deceased has children that are not in common with the surviving spouse or partner, those children will likely be able to claim to inherit a share of the estate.
Blood Relatives First
Those related closer in blood will inherit should you not have a spouse or your spouse predeceased you. The closest blood relatives would likely get the biggest share, namely children either adopted or blood. If one of these children is deceased, their heirs would be able to claim their share of your estate. Your siblings may get your estate should you not have any children to inherit.
Compelling Reason To Draft a Will
There are times when people decide not to create a will because they do not want to have to leave money to someone specific. If you don’t create a will, you are almost guaranteeing that someone you don’t want to inherit gets a chance to do just that. For instance, you have had a falling out with a child, and have not spoken to them in two decades. You figure by not creating a will you don’t have to address them. However, if they happen to be your only child left or are one of three, they will have a claim to a proportionate share of your estate.
You may not want to create a will for many reasons. However, not doing so will cause those left behind to deal with a lengthy process. Choose what you want people to get on your terms. Get with an estate planning lawyer from Patterson Bray for help on how to design the best will for your situation.
Contact a Probate Lawyer Memphis TN Residents Depend On
The probate process can get overwhelming at times, so it is important to have a skilled lawyer by your side. For more information, or to schedule a case evaluation with a probate lawyer Memphis TN has to offer, contact Patterson Bray at 901-372-5003.