Guiding You Through Life's Transitions
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Losing a loved one is an emotional and challenging time, and dealing with legal matters can often feel overwhelming. At Arevalo Law, we understand the complexities surrounding probate and are here to guide you through the process with empathy and professionalism.
Our dedicated team has extensive experience in handling all aspects of probate law. Whether your loved one left a will or passed away intestate (without a will), we have the knowledge and skills to assist you in achieving a smooth probate administration.
What sets us apart is our commitment to providing personalized attention to each client. We take the time to understand your unique situation and tailor our approach accordingly. Our compassionate team will patiently listen to your concerns, answer your questions, and explain the probate process step by step, ensuring you feel informed and supported throughout.
What to Do Upon Learning of the Death
Upon learning that a family member or close friend has passed away, you should take the following steps immediately after their death:
Notify the decedent’s employer, personal physician, attorney, accountant, and anyone else closely involved in his or her life, or anyone who might have important information;
Make arrangements for the care of any animals, pets, minor children, or adults with disabilities, you’ll need to ensure they’re properly cared for immediately;
Arrange for a transfer of the body to a funeral home or mortuary. Hospitals will typically assist you with this, as well as nursing homes and other healthcare facilities;
Request original death certificates and purchase several copies;
Once you’ve addressed the immediate needs that arise after the death, you’ll have to begin the process of managing and settling the estate.. An “estate,” in legal terms, is the collection of assets, debts, and other issues left behind by a decedent.
Probate or Trust Administration
The legal process of winding up the affairs of the deceased is generally known as "probate" or "trust administration". The estate settlement process is the legal process of disposing of the assets of the decedent, paying the deceased person's debts, and addressing any other questions or legal issues that may arise, such as who becomes the owner of the decedent’s pets, how bank accounts will be disbursed or who is legally responsible for caring for any young children who were in the decedent’s care.
As a general rule, only those who are chosen by the decedent or granted permission by the probate court can settle the estate. You can’t, for example, simply decide to start taking grandma’s money out of her bank account after she dies, even if you’re sure you know where the money has to go. Upon your family member's death, their property belongs to the estate, and until the estate transfers it in a probate proceeding, neither you nor anyone else, can use it.
The probate can be complicated, lengthy, and expensive, even if there aren’t any complications.
3 Ways Our Law Firm Can Help You Navigate The Probate Process:
1. Probate Administration: We assist in the timely filing of necessary documents, including the petition for probate, inventory, and accounting. Our experienced team will ensure that all legal requirements are met, minimizing delays and complications.
2. Will Contests and Disputes: If you suspect the validity of a will or believe that you have been unfairly excluded, our skilled litigators will protect your rights and advocate on your behalf, seeking a fair resolution through negotiation or litigation, if necessary.
3. Probate Mediation and/or Litigation: In cases where conflicts arise during the probate process, we will help you navigate the mediation process to resolve that dispute. If the dispute can not be resolved through mediation and requires courtroom representation, our team will vigorously advocate for your interests and fight for a just outcome in probate court.
Many types of trusts are not subject to the probate process, and if the trust owns property that passes to new owners after the trust creator dies, that inheritance process won’t be a part of probate either. If a relative dies and leaves behind a trust, the most important thing to understand is that, unlike a will, the probate proceedings will play a much smaller role in how the trust operates.
Whether you are a trustee or a beneficiary, we are here to provide the support you need as you face probate. We will ensure that all legal requirements are met, assets are properly distributed, and fiduciary responsibilities are fulfilled. Our goal is to streamline the trust administration process, allowing you to honor your loved one's wishes while minimizing any potential conflicts or challenges. Trust our dedicated attorneys to navigate the complexities of the process, providing you with peace of mind during this difficult time.
Don't Navigate This Process Alone
Managing an estate, navigating the probate process, and dealing with all the issues that arise after a relative dies can be difficult. We are here to guide you through this process after the death of a loved one and help to lighten the burden you are carrying so that you are able to properly grieve the loss of your loved one.
Our team's approach is centered around providing you with personalized care and advice. In order to achieve that, we ask future clients to:
Schedule a Free Consultation
In this initial consultation, we will take the time to understand what you are going through, clearly answer your probate and trust administration questions and explain the process. You can schedule a consultation by clicking here.
The information contained on this webpage is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.