Going Through Probate? Don't Make These 4 Mistakes

Posted on: 23 July 2021

The probate process can be a bit confusing, especially if you've never done it before. That's why it helps to be aware of some common mistakes that people can make so that you can avoid them.

Not Starting Probate Early

Nobody wants to go through probate, and many try putting it off as long as possible. Don't assume that you need to wait for certain documents to come in, such as the death certificate, in order to start the process. You can start working with a probate lawyer immediately to get the probate process going, which will help avoid unnecessary delays. 

Not Hiring The Right Lawyer

It's important that you hire a lawyer that is experienced in working with probate cases. Part of this is because people may want to work with a lawyer that they've worked with in the past, even if they do not specialize in probate cases. Another thing to keep in mind is that probate cases do not really have deadlines, and a lawyer that works with non-probate cases may prioritize other cases that do have deadlines. If you work with a lawyer that works primarily with probate cases, you'll get the same amount of attention as any of their other clients. 

Not Communicating With Everyone

Know that you need to communicate with all the heirs of the estate in order to complete the probate process, even family members that you do not have a good relationship with. You need their cooperation to go along with what will be happening with the estate during the probate process, and other heirs have the ability to contest the probate process and slow things down. It's important to communicate with people so that you can prevent things from being contested and so you can hammer out those small details about what will happen with the estate. Work out their concerns early on in private before it becomes public. 

Not Collecting All Estate Funds

A problem that people run into is not collecting all of the estate funds and combining them together so that you can easily assess what the estate has. This involves some due diligence to ensure that you've found all of the accounts that your loved one has, which can easily be missed if you do not know what you are looking for. Know that some states will assess a penalty to funds that are not collected and missed during the probate process, which is why it's so important that you track everything down.

Contact a law firm like Knochel Law Offices PC to learn more.