If the estate of the deceased is not overly complex and you are prepared to do some research as well as put in the time and effort necessary to probate the estate, then you should be able to complete the probate on your own accord without a probate lawyer. In fact, many people probate estates without engaging a probate lawyer. A large number also engage probate lawyers merely to watch over their shoulder as they go through the process.
However, because one little mistake could set an executor back months, most people tend to engage a probate lawyer for the purpose of assisting them with the probate process. An experienced probate lawyer will immediately know what needs to be done to probate an estate, will have come across pretty much every conceivable problem that could arise in the probate process and will be able to ensure that all the boxes are ticked and that there will be no unnecessary delays in the process arising from the executor’s inexperience.
If having read done all the necessary research, you feel confident enough to take on the process alone, you are perfectly free to do so. However, if you are in any doubt as to what needs to be done, whether before or during the process, we recommend that you contact a probate lawyer. A wrong decision or a misunderstanding on your part could cause major delays in the process, as well as exposing you to actions for negligence if the wrongdoing on your part causes a loss to the estate.
As such, while it’s not necessary to engage a probate lawyer, it can often be very beneficial in terms of ensuring a smooth and quick winding up of the estate and protecting you from allegations and claims of wrongdoings.
The final decision is of course yours to make!
How Can EstateBee Help You?
For more information on probating an estate, check our some of the other articles on our website.
Alternatively, for a more in-depth discussion on probate and executors’ duties, responsibilities and liabilities, check out our book How to Probate an Estate – A Step-By-Step Guide for Executors. This book explores the process from the moment the deceased passes away right through to the distribution of assets. Items such as death certificates, autopsies, funeral planning and asset management are discussed at length. It will show you how to initiate and close probate with ease, learn how to locate and manage estate assets, deal with creditors’ claims, taxes, and trusts, avoid the common mistakes made by many executors, and much more….
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