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Can I handle probate without an attorney?

When a loved one passes away, the last thing you or another family member might want is the burden of managing that person’s estate as it passes through probate court. While no state legally requires the use of an attorney during the probate process, spending the next eight months to a year dealing with the courts can be a tedious and overwhelming responsibility to shoulder.  

Sure, handling probate without an attorney can save your estate money, and at first thought, it may seem like a good idea. However, probate is a long and complicated process that requires the attention of an experienced and dedicated attorney who understands the detailed rules and regulations of the court system. An inexperienced person handling probate can be held liable if something were to go wrong and any omissions, failures to send a copy of the petition or any missed deadline can cause the entire probate proceedings to be delayed or even stopped it entirely.

Difficulties within the Probate court

Some estates can present a straightforward probate process where clear instructions, copies of the forms, and anything else you might need, come in a neat bow. However, for other estates where complications both big and small arise, having an experienced probate attorney on the job will be indispensable.

For example, you will need an attorney if any of the following complications arise:

•    Disputes over past taxes due or any other complicated tax situations

•    Issue or ambiguities with a will (typically the wording)

•    Probate disputes, such as a spouse or close relative making a claim on property or assets

•    Financial disputes, debts or unfinished contracts, such as a sale or business deal that were left incomplete.

•    Property left to a minor that may need guardianship or

•    Estates heavy with debt and not enough assets to settle collectors

There are several options to go over when deciding to hire a probate attorney. However, if you are set on handling the process, you can hire an attorney for consultation or to review documents. But if you are confused or worried about probate, the best course of action is to find an experienced attorney and let them handle the stress and complicated issues of probate.

Contact Elder Law Services for a FREE Consultation Today!

When you are ready to begin the probate process or would like to meet with an attorney to get advice about your family’s particular situation, give us a call at (855) ELDER LAW to schedule a FREE consultation. Our experienced probate attorneys will meet with you and help devise a plan to meet your needs and wants out of the probate. Our goal is to take the stress and difficulty out of an already stressful situation and help provide your family with a peace of mind, knowing your loved one’s estate will be handled with care and passed on to the rightful heirs. We look forward to hearing from you soon.

Serving Our Community Since 1995

Elder Law Services of California, APLC provides the same strategic planning and legal representative of larger firms, yet in a personalized, family-like manner. Our priority is to provide the highest level of legal services and client satisfaction when representing your Medi-Cal Planning, Estate Planning, Trust Administration, or Probate cases. Above all, we understand the importance of you and your family’s financial future and legal security.

Our team of Attorneys and legal support staff have assisted thousands of different families by giving them the freedom to plan for the security of their future, while also providing peace of mind with our experienced legal advice. As our name, Elder Law Services of California, APLC serves all families in California, with convenient locations throughout Los Angeles, as well as locations in Northern California, and San Diego.

Whether you need to qualify for Medi-Cal, pay for long-term care, create an estate plan and powers of attorney, proceed a conservatorship, protect your assets, or deal with the loss of a loved one, our team is there for you every step of the way. Sadly, many families are unprepared for any significant planning for their future, so take the first step today to protect your family’s integrity.

Elder Law Services  of California, APLC.
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