If you are the one who was left in charge of handling a loved one's estate after his or her passing, you might be a bit overwhelmed by the task at hand, and you could be worried about making sure that you handle everything the right way. In some cases, executors are able to handle their loved one's estates on their own, but in other situations, hiring a lawyer to help is ideal. These are a few signs that you might need to hire a lawyer to assist you with this important and often difficult and emotional task.
1. There Isn't Enough Money to Handle Everything
In the best of cases, an estate leaves behind enough money to pay any final bills and to leave a little something for the family. However, this is certainly not always the case, and when the estate doesn't have enough money to cover everything, things can get complicated. Before you start trying to pick and choose which final bills to pay and before you start pulling out of your own pocket to pay any extra bills, consider working with an experienced probate lawyer who can assist you in determining how to handle everything.
2. Family Members Are Not Being Cooperative
Many families get along well and pull together after a loved one dies, but in the event that not everyone is on board, things can get emotionally difficult and even legally challenging. If you are worried that a family member is going to try to contest the will, getting legal advice is important. Even if you just want to help make things go smoothly so that a huge rift isn't caused between the family and so that you are not left with the job of making all of the decisions, working with a neutral party that is fully knowledgeable about probate law can help the situation immensely.
3. The Will Is Not Clear About Everything
If your loved one did not work with an attorney and instead created his or her own will, or if a lot of property was bought or sold after the will was made, the will might not clearly outline everything that should be done with the estate. If this is the case, an attorney can help you sort through things and make the right decisions.
If you are an executor who is thinking about handling your loved one's estate on your own, you might want to look at the details. In any of these cases, it might be smarter to work with a probate lawyer rather than doing everything on your own. For more information, contact local professionals like Wilson Deege Despotovich Riemenschneider & Rittgers.