Barney McKenna & Olmstead
Probate Lawyers in St. George, Utah
If a loved one has passed away and named you executor of their estate, the probate lawyers of Barney McKenna & Olmstead in St. George, Utah can help you through the probate process. If you have been named executor of an estate, this may be the first time such a task has been placed upon your shoulders. What are your responsibilities and what are the next steps? If you have been named the executor of an estate, you may be the person in charge of taking a will to court, where it will be validated through a legal process known as probate. While some wills can pass through probate releatively easily, sometimes the probate process can be complex, and can last many years. The probate lawyers at BMO Law Firm in St. George, Utah understand how challenging it can be to have lost a loved one. We understand that executors of estates are often grieving individuals facing the challenges of managing a loved one’s final affairs, as well as probate. We can help guide you through the process to ensure that your loved one’s will is carried out as your loved one intended.
What is Probate?
Probate is the legal process through which a will is validated by a court. When a person passes away with a will, the will must go through the probate process. In order for probate to be completed, the executor must submit proper documentation to the court and complete some tasks. This includes accounting for all the deceased person’s assets. It is important to note that many wills do not take into account all assets, and with a larger estate this could be a monumental task. Some of the property may need to be appraised and sold to pay off debts.
The executor must identify all debts and creditors, and pay them. In many cases, the executor must post proper notice of the person’s death to give potential creditors the ability to come forward. Furthermore, if there are unpaid taxes on the estate, the executor must also pay these taxes before assets can be distributed to heirs. Once all debts are paid, then assets can be distributed to heirs as noted in the will. Issues can arise here if family members dispute the will, or if someone in the family believes the will was written under duress or was written when the individual was incapable of making decisions on their own behalf. The probate process gives family members the opportunity to dispute the will.
A probate lawyer in St. George, Utah can assist you with the probate process by:
Helping you get an appropriate number of copies of the death certificate so probate can proceed.
Helping you submit the will and death certificate to the court so that the probate process can proceed.
Assisting you with documenting and appraising assets.
Assisting you with paying debts on the estate and posting proper legal notices.
Assisting you with paying taxes on the estate.
Assisting you with the legal process of notifying beneficiaries to the will. It is important to properly notify all beneficiaries or the executor could potentially face a lawsuit if beneficiaries aren’t notified.
Assisting you with any litigation that may take place in probate court, especially if family members dispute or contest the will.