Understanding The Legal Process

4 Issues That Can Come Up During Probate

by Eli Gregory

Have you been assigned the responsibilities of an estate executor that is about to go through probate? If so, you'll definitely want to be working with a probate attorney throughout the entire process. Here are a few issues that can come up where a probate attorney can assist you. 

The Will Is Contested

A difficult problem to deal with is a friend or family member contesting a will. This can happen because someone believes the person that made the will was not in the right mental state, that someone influenced a person to make changes to their will, or even accuse someone of committing fraud and fabricating a will. If the deceased person was speaking about their will before their death, and the actual will does not line up with their spoken words, this can cause a reason to look into it further. 

The Estate Has Missing Assets 

One job of the executor is to lock down the assets of the estates so that nobody else can take them. Unfortunately, friends or family members may decide that they want something from their loved one that passed away, and unfairly take the item and claim it as their own. Missing assets are not always obvious, especially if you do not know what you are looking for. However, a problem can come up when a specific item is supposed to be given to someone, and that item is now missing. 

The Estate Has Property In Different States 

Know that each state has its own probate laws that must be followed. While many people have all of their assets within the state that they live in, others may not. They could have a vacation home in Florida that they visit during the winter, which means that the probate process becomes a lot more complicated. Work with a probate attorney to help navigate the different state laws to make the process much easier for everyone involved. 

The Estate Has Debts That Must Be Paid

Part of the probate process is ensuring that all of the creditors are paid before an inheritance is distributed. However, what happens when there is not enough cash on hand to pay off the debts? That's when the executor will need to sell assets to pay off those debts. The problem that often comes up, as a result, is when certain assets are promised to heirs, but they must be sold to pay off debts. This can happen when a house is left to someone, but the house isn't completely paid off. You'll work with a probate attorney to figure out the right course of action.  

For more information, contact a local probate attorney