How to Prepare for Your First Meeting with a Boca Raton Probate Attorney
The days and weeks following the loss of a loved one can be overwhelming. Whether you are the personal representative or a member of the family, the first step is determining how to proceed with probate – the legal process by which the deceased’s estate will be distributed to their heirs according to the terms of the last will and testament. This means speaking with a Boca Raton probate attorney. Whether you have already selected a lawyer or are still undecided as to who to work with, there are some things you can do to make your first meeting as productive as possible.
Bring Copies of All Important Documents
This may seem obvious but is commonly overlooked by many people when meeting with a Boca Raton probate attorney for the first time. We realize that gathering these documents can sometimes be challenging, but the more of these documents you can bring, the better advice the attorney can provide. Of course, your attorney can help you obtain these documents if you don’t currently have access to them or aren’t sure how to go about getting them.
- A copy of the will
- A copy of the death certificate or a copy of the obituary if the death certificate is unavailable
- Copies of financial documents such as bank statements, if you have access to them
- A list of the names and addresses of people as heirs in the will
- Unless you are named as the personal representative, the name and address of the personal representative
- A list of the deceased’s assets such as real estate, investments, or business interests
With the documents, your lawyer will be able to explain what you can expect in terms of the steps that need to be taken and how long the process will take.
Be Prepared to Identify Any Potential Issues
The probate process generally takes from 6 to 9 months to be completed. However, it can take significantly longer if there are obstacles along the way. These delays can lead to additional expenses and can be frustrating for both the heirs and the personal representative. As a result, you want to give some thought to whether any of the following issues could apply to your case and prepare to raise them the first time you meet with a Boca Raton probate attorney:
- One or more family members were left out of the will
- One or more family members are already disputing the contents of the will
- There are significant debts associated with the estate
- Creditors are attempting to attach assets of the estate
- The will was amended late in the decedent’s life
- You are aware of multiple wills
- One or more heirs has benefited significantly at the expense of other heirs
Flagging issues like these for your lawyer can help them provide you with a more realistic timeline and discuss what outcomes you can expect.
Contact a Boca Raton Probate Attorney at Ellis Law Group to Begin the Probate Process
When it comes to probate, getting started is often the hardest part. At Ellis Law Group, our goal is to make our first conversation as productive as possible, but ultimately, we’re here to help. To speak with a Boca Raton probate attorney who can provide you with the guidance you need, contact us today at 561-910-7500.