Written by attorney Cheryl K. David

Why should I hire a probate attorney to handle the estate when my loved one passes?

There are about 1000 steps which need to be taken, start to finish, when someone passes. All the steps must be handled in a certain order and within certain time frame. The court will not sign off on the estate until all the steps are done right. When someone uses our services to handle a probate or administration we handle the entire process. After 23 years we have systems in place to make sure that everything is done efficiently and done right. Our top priority is to know that the job is done correctly and no one will come back against you for missing something or messing something up. Without an attorney, you are personally liable for all mistakes. To accomplish our primary goal we do all of the following and much, much more. Here are the top 18 things our probate clients should know. 1. We move the process along for you in an expeditious manner, handling matters within several months instead of the typical 1 to 2 years associated with most estates. 2. We file all the proper paperwork and legal documents with the court for you. 3. We acquire the proper legal permission slips from the court to allow the executor to pay the bills, access the accounts and carry out the directions of the person whom has passed away for you. 4. We file the Notice of Creditors with the local paper for you. 5. We post necessary bonds for you. 6. We make sure that all the court fees and expenses are paid for you. 7. We gather all of the information then write and call the different companies for you. 8. We set up and transfer the necessary accounts to the estate and draft deeds to the proper parties for you. 9. We make sure all of the legally reported bills are paid for you. 10. We make sure the proper insurance is set up on the assets for you. 11. We make sure that the final income taxes are handled correctly for you. 12. We analyze the estate for estate tax consequences for you. 13. We make sure that retirement accounts are distributed properly for you, minimizing the taxation associated with such accounts. 14. We negotiate creditor claims such as credit cards, hospital expenses, Medicaid and outstanding bills for you. 15. We arrange for the liquidation of personal property and real estate for you. 16. We make sure you are paid for you time. 17. We acquire the proper releases and distribute the estate to the heirs for you. 18. We finalize and close the estate for you with the Court.

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