After a person’s death, their beneficiaries must wait for their assets to pass through probate before receiving their inheritances. Probate is the process the state uses to make sure that a decedent’s final expenses, bills, and taxes get paid from their assets. The probate process can be complex, often requiring assistance from a probate lawyer.
At the Law Office of Ralph W. Powers, Jr., P.C., we have over 40 years of experience in estate planning and probate law. Call us today at 301-627-1000 to schedule an initial consultation with a probate lawyer serving Hyattsville, MD, at our law offices.
What Is Probate, and How Does It Work?
Probate is a process of estate settlement that includes a court overseeing the payment of a decedent’s final expenses from their remaining assets. Expenses could include federal income tax, state income tax, estate tax, and debts to creditors. The probate court oversees this estate administration by the decedent’s personal representative (aka executor) to ensure that all fees, debts, and taxes receive due payment from the decedent’s estate.
- Taking inventory of the estate assets
- Evaluating the worth of the estate
- Paying final expenses, taxes, and debts from the assets
- Distributing the remaining assets according to the decedent’s will or intestate succession
- Filing all necessary forms with the probate court at each step
The personal representative, usually named in the will, files the necessary documentation to begin probate. If the decedent died without a will (“intestate”), the court may appoint a representative. A probate lawyer serving Hyattsville, MD, from our office can help you navigate the complex nature of probate.
Estate Planning and Probate Avoidance with Trusts
A decedent’s assets will enter probate after their death unless the decedent had created a trust to hold them. Popular trust types are revocable living trusts, which are amendable and revocable until the death of the grantor, and irrevocable trusts, which offer asset protection during the grantor’s lifetime.
Trust assets bypass the probate process, so the trustee (executor) can immediately begin the process of distributing trust assets to beneficiaries after the grantor passes away. The grantor can also create a pour-over will, which automatically adds any other of the decedent’s assets to the trust upon their death.
Turn to our estate planning and probate law firm to create your important estate planning documents, including trusts, powers of attorney, and advance directives.
Probate Litigation Law Firm
Probate and inheritances are complex legal issues that often involve create emotional situations for some family members about what they should receive from a decedent’s estate. We have helped clients resolve cases involving:
- Tax claims
- Breach of fiduciary duty
- Determination of heirs
- Finding and retrieving missing property
- Contesting creditor claims
- Abuse of power of attorney
- Undue influence upon the decedent before passing
Contact Our Law Offices for an Initial Consultation for Probate in Hyattsville, MD
For over four decades, we have helped clients across several practice areas, including real estate, estate planning, and probate. Call us today at The Law Office of Ralph W. Powers, Jr., P.C., at 301-627-1000 or contact us online to speak with a probate lawyer serving Hyattsville, MD.