Protecting your estate and financial assets is a top priority for anyone involved in such circumstances and a good probate lawyer can prepare and guide you through the process.
Probate lawyers are also known as estate administration lawyers or estate attorneys and they handle advising the beneficiaries of a deceased person’s estate. Such lawyers help settle the deceased’s final affairs and can include things like dealing with property, settling debts, and distributing assets.
Duensing Law is a Toronto law firm that assists people with wills and succession planning, probate and estate administration, and estate litigation. It is headed by Matthias Duensing, who specializes in the preparation of wills, powers of attorney, and trusts. We’ll provide some convincing reasons why you should consider hiring an estate administration lawyer to help settle your personal affairs.
Probating Your Estate
How we define this process is declaring the will of the deceased person to be valid and accurate, distributing their belongings soon afterwards. This makes the will officially the final word of the deceased person and proves it complies with all legal formalities.
The result of this process is that the deceased’s executor or administrator is granted control of the assets. It is subsequently the expectation that the executor will distribute the assets to the heirs, as they are listed in the final will.
Ultimately, probating is about verifying who is in charge of the estate. You have to deal with bank accounts, privacy issues and paying the deceased’s bills and taxes. The process also confirms who has shares in the estate. Claims and challenges can come from spouses, former spouses, common-law spouses, dependents, and creditors among many others. In Ontario, estate trustees must give written notice to everyone named in the will.
What is an Estate Administration Lawyer?
Estate administration lawyers are primarily responsible for assisting clients with the general administering of a decedent’s will or estate and helps guide the executor through this process. They also provide assistance even if there was no legal will made.
Probating an estate is a complicated and difficult process. As the executor, you could be expected to take on a range of responsibilities and duties related to managing the estate and distributing it. Without legal assistance, you could tie yourself in knots and get very confused. Even the slightest mistake could have grave consequences for everyone involved.
While being an executor named in the will involves a great deal of pressure and responsibility, there is also the emotional difficulty of losing a loved one you have to deal with. An estate administration lawyer can reduce the stress and risk of errors. With the help and experience of a professional, the whole process will go much quicker as a result.
It’s important to remember that the cost of hiring a probate lawyer doesn’t lie with you as the executor. Rather, the estate pays for any services or expenses involved in probating the estate.
The Benefits of Hiring a Lawyer
There are many benefits to hiring an estate administration lawyer in settling your familial assets. Aside from saving you time, energy, and effort, you will find that an estate administration lawyer can help you:
- Avoid Family Conflict
- Get Fast Access to the Estate
- Avoid Any Unwanted Claims
- Gain Approval from Courts
- Identify and Deal with Finances
- Avoid Delays and Probate Lawsuits
- Support the Executor
What to Ask Before Hiring
If you are still unsure of your next steps, ask yourself these questions before making a decision:
Can your lawyer fully administer the deceased’s estate from start to finish?
Can they calculate the estate administration tax (EAT) and/or provincial probate taxes?
Are they able to obtain a Certificate of Appointment, transfer or sell estate properly, and deal with a final distribution?
Do they understand your duties as a trustee?
Can they handle probate disputes and will contests?
These are only some of the issues that you may encounter in your estate dealings. Not all lawyers are the same and each can have their own approach to estate administration. These processes can be complicated and you should trust someone with the right amount of experience to provide the best range of services possible.
Get in Touch
If you would like to know more about our services or have any questions for Duensing Law, feel free to call us at 416-601-4769 or book an appointment to get all your will planning related questions answered.
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