When a relative dies without a will, you may find yourself at odds with other family members about what to do with the deceased relative's money and belongings. You also may have no idea of whom actually can lay claim to the lost relative's estate or who should be cut off from inheriting anything from it.
You likewise may have no idea to whom the deceased relative owes money and whether or not he or she owes any taxes to the state or federal government for the current tax year. Rather than attempt to figure out these questions on your own, you can hire one of the experienced local probate attorneys to assist you with them.
If your relative has passed away without a will, he or she may owe money to certain creditors. For example, if this person had a civil judgment entered into the court record, he or she may have to settle that debt with funds from his or her estate.
Likewise, other creditors may have legal claims to your deceased loved one's estate. Probate attorneys put notices in the local newspapers to notify potential claimants of the person's passing. They can then petition the court to consider paying what is owed to them from the deceased person's money or the sale of his or her belongings.
Further, the deceased relative may have left no indication of whom he or she wants to benefit from the estate. Anyone can come forward and say they are owed a share of this person's money and belongings.
Probate attorneys can petition the court to decide who exactly gets a share of the estate and in what amount. They protect estates from being exploited. They also ensure lawful beneficiaries receive funds and belongings from the estate.
Finally, probate attorneys can file taxes for deceased clients' estates. Your loved one may still owe state and federal taxes after his or her death. The attorney you retain can file the returns for the estate and make sure any outstanding taxes are paid in full.
Experienced probate attorneys provide vital services to grieving families after the loss of relatives who die without wills. They notify creditors who may have a lawful claim to funds from the estate. They also petition the court to identify legal beneficiaries and can file any returns for state and federal taxes for the current tax year.
Contact a probate attorney near you to learn more.