When a relative or someone close has died and left you property or money or has named you executor of their will, it’s a smart idea to hire an attorney who can help you through the probate process. Probate attorneys handle the administrative side of probates and represent clients in lawsuits focused on disputes over the estate.
Probates: The Administration of the Estate
Probating an estate requires the appointment of a person to conduct the administration of an estate. In a will, this person is called an executor. The executor has many tasks to take care of, including:
- Collecting debts and notes due the decedent
- Receiving payments due the estate, such as dividends and interest
- Determining the names and addresses of all heirs
- Paying all outstanding obligations, such as federal and state taxes
- Planning, preparing and filing estate tax returns
- Carrying out instructions of the probate court and distributing the assets to heirs
Because of the complexity of these tasks, the assistance of a probate attorney is needed. If you make a mistake as the administrator or executor of an estate, you may be held personally liable. Attorney Jeffrey Hall is an experienced probate attorney who can help you navigate the complicated probate laws and avoid some of the common pitfalls.
Estate Litigation: Attorney Jeffrey Hall
Common causes of estate litigation include lack of capacity, undue influence, lack of formalities, breach of fiduciary duty, elective share and forged documents. A will or trust can be declared void if a lack of capacity can be proven, such as in the case of dementia or Alzheimer’s. When a testator is coerced to execute a will under undue influence, the will can also be contested. Plus, the executor of a will owes the beneficiaries honesty, prudence and loyalty. If these duties are violated, a cause of action typically arises. When documents appear falsified, the intent to deceive will likely result in estate litigation. Attorney Jeffrey Hall has represented clients on both sides of the table in estate litigation.
Probates is a complex legal process with specific procedures and required deadlines. Whether you’re an executor or involved in a lawsuit resulting from a contested will, turn to attorney Jeffrey Hall for the best legal advice and representation. He has both experience and an in-depth knowledge of the law and probate process.