When you begin the process of planning your will or last testament, you will get to the part where you need to declare the recipients of your assets. You need to decide who among your family and friends will inherit whatever it is you are leaving behind. While you might think that naming someone on paper might make things pretty straightforward, that's not always the case. There are some scenarios where your estate could be put through probate court before any of the assets can actually be released. For best results, you should hire a probate attorney to help you plan your estate while you're still alive. A good lawyer may be able to anticipate certain issues and head them off in the will before anyone can cause a problem. Here are some of the scenarios that might require assistance from a probate attorney.
You Know Your Family Is Going to Fight
In a perfect world, we would all get along swimmingly with all of our relatives. In reality, that's almost never the case. Whether you have an estranged child or sibling or you just know that the "black sheep" of the family is going to stir up trouble, family strife is one of the leading reasons why estates end up in probate. If you want to protect certain assets or keep assets out of certain hands, your probate attorney can construct your will or estate in a way that makes it difficult to dispute, even though you know certain family members might try anyway.
Commercial Property Is Up for Grabs
If all you will be handing out after you are gone is your personal bank account and personal property like a house, distribution will be relatively simple and hopefully headache free. But if you have commercial assets like a business, things can get complicated fast. You might have business partners who don't want you to just hand down the entire company to your children, for example. A good probate attorney can go over your options for you and allow you to make the decision that will be best for your business in the long run.
Some States Are More Complicated Than Others
The Uniform Probate Code is a set of rules that certain states have agreed to follow in order to make the probate process as easy as possible. The problem is that not all states have accepted all parts of the code. If you are in a state that does not follow the UPC, things might get more complicated and you will want an attorney to help you sort things out.
For more information, contact a firm like the Law Offices of Wayne A. Pederson.