Should You Hire A Probate Lawyer?

Should You Hire A Probate Lawyer?Understanding whether or not you need to hire a probate lawyer in Memphis, TN is an important first step. At Patterson Bray we help members of our Memphis, TN community determine if they might benefit from our legal services. This is one of the reasons why we offer a free and confidential consultation with our probate lawyer. While some can navigate a straightforward probate process on their own, many others gain confidence knowing that an experienced probate lawyer is protecting their best interests. If you are the estate executor, you may wish to get legal advice from a skilled probate lawyer serving Memphis, TN who is thoroughly familiar with the appropriate Tennessee laws and the probate court system.

To help you determine if hiring a probate lawyer is the right choice for you, consider the following:

Is the estate considered a “small estate” and therefore eligible for small estate procedures?

Our probate lawyer for Memphis, TN can determine if the total assets of the estate exceed the small estate maximum. If they do not, it may be possible to follow a “summary probate” process which more streamlined than standard probate. It’s important to adhere to the legal restrictions and our probate lawyer can help you do that.

Can any of the deceased’s assets be transferred to their new owners without having to go through the probate process?

The answer will depend on the arrangements made before they passed away. For instance, if an asset is jointly owned by the deceased and another individual (such as a car, home, or business), that asset should be able to avoid probate. If the deceased had a living trust which “held” all of their valuable assets, their estate may not have to go through probate. There are additional types of arrangements that the deceased may have made that can also make it possible to avoid probate. Your Memphis, TN probate lawyer can review the estate details and provide guidance.

Is there a possibility that the deceased’s will might be contested?

If a family member or other person who was included in the will, or feels they should have been but were not, and they wish to contest the share they received or did not receive, you may benefit from contacting a probate lawyer. Our probate lawyer may be able to help you avoid litigation.

Is the deceased’s estate limited to common assets?

Examples of common assets are brokerage or bank accounts, household goods, a house, and vehicles. When an estate only has common assets, if it has to go through probate, it may be simple enough to avoid hiring a probate lawyer if the executor is comfortable with the legal process. If the estate includes assets such as commercial real estate or a business, you might want to consider hiring a probate lawyer to assist you. It may be necessary for you to hire an appraiser to determine the value of the business in advance of selling it. The resulting monies might then be subject to probate, depending on the legal advice of your probate lawyer.

The probate process can be complex.  If you would like to avoid the drawn out probate process, call us at Patterson Bray to request a free and confidential case review with a trusted probate lawyer for Memphis, TN today.