3 Things That Probate Lawyers Focus On When Someone Passes Away

Posted on: 7 October 2017

If someone in your family or who is otherwise close to you has passed away, you might have heard that it's a good idea for you to work with a probate lawyer. In fact, your loved one might have hired a lawyer when he or she was still living to handle his or her estate. If so, you could be curious about what these lawyers do. Of course, lawyers do different things when handling people's estates, depending on the situation. These are some of the main things that your probate litigation lawyer may do:

1. Identifying the Assets

First of all, it might take a little bit of time for the lawyer to identify all of the person's assets. He or she will look into any property that was owned by the now-deceased and will look into bank accounts, investments, valuable items, life insurance payouts and other items that will need to be distributed. After all, determining what assets are there is the first step of making sure that the assets are distributed properly.

2. Handling Final Expenses

Before any of the cash from the estate can be distributed out to the beneficiaries, final expenses that are related to the estate will need to be handled. For example, if your loved one owed taxes on his or her property, this will need to be paid. The funeral, burial plot and other related expenses will also have to be taken care of. By handling these things first, the probate lawyer can help ensure that the property that is being distributed is free and clear.

3. Distributing Assets

If your loved one had a will in place, the probate lawyer will use this information as a means of determining how cash and property will be distributed among those who are still living. If there was not a will in place, the lawyer will follow the law in determining how everything should be distributed among the living individuals, such as the deceased's spouse, children and other family members and loved ones.

As you can see, a probate lawyer has a pretty big job when it comes to handling the estate of someone who has passed away. If someone you love has passed away and you are wondering about how his or her estate will be handled, you should know that this is something that a lawyer can really help with. If your loved one did not already have a lawyer, you may want to consider hiring one so that you can find out how he or she can help with the situation.