Probate Lawyer Lake Charles, LA
Estate planning can be difficult to think about. People do not like to consider their own mortality and even the thought of your loved ones losing someone they lean on is difficult for most. This is why you need a good probate lawyer in Lake Charles, Louisiana from Theus Law Firm to assist you. One of our experienced lawyers will know what kind of things need to be in place for estate planning and how to do it so that your documents hold up even after you are gone.
When You Should Begin Estate Planning
It is important to do estate planning sooner, rather than later. You never know what twists and turns life may throw at you, which is why it is crucial to plan your estate before anything bad happens. First, it can help you plan for yourself in case you ever become incapacitated. For example, you can choose a medical power of attorney and even write about what you want to happen if you are ever injured and unconscious. Second, you will have a plan in place to take care of your loved ones, which will hopefully give you peace of mind if you are ever in a difficult situation. You can always change your estate some as time goes by, but it does take time to create legal documents, which is why it is good if you can have some ready with the help of a probate lawyer in Louisiana.
How a Probate Lawyer Can Help Your Family
An experienced probate lawyer in Lake Charles, LA from Theus Law Firm will be able to help you create legal documents to appoint an executor for your will, a medical power of attorney, among other things to ensure you and your family are both taken care of in case anything were to happen to you. It is crucial to think about these things ahead of time so your family has as few questions as possible upon your passing. This will minimize the amount of fighting or disagreements between your loved ones. By laying out as much as possible in a will and other documents you can create with your lawyer, you are giving your friends and family the gift of peace. They will be able to focus on executing your wishes and celebrating your life, rather than going through the headache of probate alone.
What Are the Steps in an Average Probate Process?
While there can be different steps depending upon the case, the overall probate process follows these seven main steps:
- Confirming/Naming the Executor: Usually, the executor named is an heir such as a child. After being named, two people you know will have to sign an affidavit that pertains to Death, Domicile, and lastly, Heirship. All pleadings will be conducted via court along with the Will and if all the paperwork properly adheres to the law, the Judge will then sign an Order and the independent executor will be officially declared.
- Estate Account: Armed with their new “Letters of Independent Executorship” the executor will go to the necessary financial organizations/instiuitions to present certified copies of their “Letters”. Upon doing so the Estate Account will be opened along with the transfer of funds from the deceased’s account.
- Selling Estate Assets: While certain assets may be divided between heirs as laid out in the will, as a whole the executor is allowed to sell the home and other assets such as vehicles. The sales will go into the estate account.
- A Thorough List of All the Assets and Liabilities: The attorney’s office will file and prepared a thorough list of all the estate’s assets as well as debts and other expenses.
- Petition for Possession: All heirs are required to agree to and sign off on each court pleadings and this includes the Petition for Possession. During this process, the heirs ask their assigned judge to sign a Judgement of Possession which transfers the assets to the appropriate heirs as laid out in the Will. This entire process can take anywhere between weeks to several months depending upon how many heirs there are, the total number of assets, etc. Additionally, sometimes there can be contention between the heirs that can delay things even further and may even need to be remedied by mediation and potentially litigation.
- Transferring the Estate: Once everything is settled a certified copy of the Possession of Judgements will be filed into the Conveyance Records. This process then transfer the property’s title to the appropriate heirs.
- Final Disbursements: Lastly, after all necessary expenses such as lawyer fees estate expenses, debts, etc. are paid then the executor is obligated to disburse any remaining funds to the other heirs if there any.
While the process may seem fairly straight-forward complications such as contention between heirs or a Will that isn’t detailed enough can cause delays. As such, some important tips may include designating an executor who you know is trustworthy and has you and your estate’s best interests in mind, potentially communicating to your heirs prior or during the process of drafting your Will, and lastly having a probate lawyer by your side. Not only will the probate lawyer expedite the entire process, but they will make sure that the Will is very clear, adheres to necessary requirements, and leaves as few room as possible for contention.
Contact Theus Law Firm Today
Do not hesitate to reach out to a probate lawyer in Lake Charles from Theus Law Firm to begin working on your estate today. One of our experienced lawyers will make sure you have everything done that you need for the probate process and that your wishes will be executed once you are gone. We will ensure everything goes as smoothly as possible and that your loved ones are taken care of — both in the will we can help you create and after your passing when all of your documents need to be brought up again. Contact us today to get started.