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Coping With Legal Issues

When I started getting into trouble I became pretty acclimated to legal procedures. Calling my attorney and working out bail was just another way to spend a Saturday night. Unfortunately, the stiffer the charges, the more difficult it was to talk my way out of a bad situation. After so many charges, I found myself slapped with a long jail sentence, and I realized that I wanted to turn things around. Fortunately, my lawyer was able to walk me through yet another process, so that I could make the right changes. My blog discusses how to emotionally cope with legal issues so that you can start living a good life.



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Coping With Legal Issues

Probate: As Easy As 1 2 3

by Lillian Wheeler

While this word can be a bit intimidating to some, this legal method of dealing with estates can really be summed up in three easy steps. If you end up being the executor (also known as personal representative) of a will, you can assume those duties with confidence after learning about probate and how it works.

1. File the will

Often, the will can be found in a safe location in the deceased's home, like a locked safe or firebox or just in a desk drawer. Many people now keep their wills in a safe deposit box at the bank, but if all else fails you can contact the attorney who was in charge of the estate planning and access a copy. The will should be read and copies provided to anyone named as a beneficiary in that will. After that, the will needs to be filed with the probate court in the country of residence and a notice placed in a local newspaper alerting potential creditors about the death. The interested creditors must step forward within a certain period of time if the estate owes them any money. In most cases, a simple estate can be probated in a few months, but larger, more complicated or contested estates can take up to a year or more to settle.

2. Administer the estate

While the will goes through probate, there are a few tasks that need to be attended to. The probate court will usually require that an inventory of the estate be performed, which is a list of real estate, cars, boats, and other belongings along with the value for each of those. For more valuable items, such as real estate, a professional appraiser should be called upon to provide a value for the court. Additionally, the executor must see to it the home is maintained during probate. This can include having regular maintenance issues dealt with and any needed repairs done. It also includes paying the bills of the estate. The estate attorney will guide you on what should be paid now (such as the taxes) and what can wait until probate is complete. Some of the home's utilities should remain on, and some should be shut off if no one is living there.

3. Disperse the estate

Once you get the official notice that probate is complete, your final task is to distribute the estate according to the newly probated will. The new owners of any property are now free to take it, and a copy of the probated will and a death certificate should be provided to them so that they can make changes to deeds and titles. If you want to know more about how probate works, speak to your estate attorney.

For more information, contact a professional such as David R Webb Attorney.