Situations Where A Probate Attorney Could Be Essential

Almost all executors are told that they have to work with attorneys. However, this actually isn't the case. The situation is much more complicated than that, since some executors will need assistance from attorneys, and some will not. For instance, the size of the estate in question may determine whether or not executors will need the expertise of attorneys. 

An Attorney Will Be Necessary When the Estate Is Substantial Enough

A case involving a big estate will almost always be more complex than a case related to a smaller estate, but it isn't always clear where the dividing line is. Executors will have to look at all of the paperwork involved in order to try to figure out whether or not they can handle all of the proceedings independently.

However, in some legal situations, there is a clearer definition of a 'small estate.' There are areas that will make it possible for executors to take advantage of specific procedures for small estates, assuming the estate fits the local definition of a small estate. Executors might be surprised since, in some areas, relatively big estates might still qualify. If that works out for them, an attorney may be unnecessary. Attorneys will almost certainly be required when many different assets are involved, especially if the assets are in any way unconventional. 

Certain Assets Will Make an Estate More Difficult to Manage

Most people don't own commercial buildings or companies, and assets like these are much harder to assess and control than something like a bank account. The executor might eventually have to work with individual tenants if an estate case involves commercial buildings. These cases could necessitate transferring the ownership of a business from one party to another, or they could involve selling the commercial properties or businesses. One way or another, working with specialized attorneys will be valuable. Other people connected to these estates will often disagree when it comes to handling assets like these. 

Family Conflicts May Create Additional Complications

Executors shouldn't assume that all family members will be satisfied with the terms of the will. Some of them might formally contest it or at least threaten to do so. In some cases, unless the executor contacts an attorney right away, the estate itself could be in trouble. Many family members will get emotional during cases like this, and seeking the advice of experts can help stop disputes from escalating. 

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