Probate Lawyer Serving Birmingham, MI

Probate Lawyer Serving Birmingham, MI

Probate Attorney Birmingham, MI

When should you get legal advice regarding estate planning? Some people might say when you turn 50. Others might claim that you should look into estate planning immediately after you have your first child. These are all reasonable answers. But the best answer is that you should begin estate planning the moment you have an estate.

For most people, that occurs as soon as they get their first adult job. It may seem unnecessary to create a will when you have only a few thousand dollars to your name, but that money still needs to go to someone if you die. And you don’t want it to go to the state just because you didn’t plan for other options.

While it is highly unlikely that all of your money will go to the state of Michigan, too much of it could if you die without a will. The probate process can drain away your assets in fees and taxes if you aren’t properly prepared. You worked hard for the money you have. As much of it as possible should go to the friends and family members you want to see protected after you pass away.

At Bingham Legal Group, we believe that the probate process should work for you, not against you. Our experienced estate planning attorneys help people create wills and trusts that will simplify the probate process. We also guide bereaved family members through the process so it takes as little time as possible. Don’t delay! Contact us for estate administration services immediately.

How Estate & Probate Attorneys Can Help With the Probate Process

The probate process is long and complicated under normal circumstances. However, with the legal advice and assistance of a top-rated probate law firm like Bingham Legal Group, that process can run a lot more smoothly.

To begin, if a loved one has recently died, we can help you take the necessary first steps. Friends and family aren’t the only ones who need to be notified. We will help you contact the appropriate government agencies and file any necessary paperwork, including with the probate court for Birmingham, MI.

During the probate court hearing to determine the validity of the will and to appoint an executor, we will be present. We will provide plentiful evidence that the will is valid and ensure the court that we will ably assist the executor.

The meat of the probate process starts once an executor is chosen. That executor needs to:

  • Research and find records of all assets and property that the deceased possessed
  • Determine whether the deceased had any debts and if so who they are owed to
  • Pay all creditors using assets that belong to the estate
  • Calculate and pay all taxes the estate owes
  • Find and contact all the heirs of the estate
  • Notify them of their inheritance and when they can expect to receive it
  • Handle any objections to the contents of the will, potentially going to court if necessary
  • Distribute all property and assets as directed by the will
  • Close out the estate after it has been fully distributed

Our legal team will assist with every aspect of this estate administration. We have experience uncovering assets and debts, even when records are missing. Our attorneys work with investigators to find heirs who are difficult to contact. We can also assist heirs who may be facing difficult tax situations after receiving an inheritance.

The main goal of Bingham Legal Group is to make the probate process as painless as possible for everyone. This means that we handle as much of the bureaucracy as we can so that people in mourning don’t have to.

Planning Can Make the Probate Process Go Smoothly

Probate is usually onerous and takes a long time when the deceased hasn’t properly prepared for their death. If your loved one dies without a will, the probate court will implement Michigan intestacy laws to distribute property and assets. These laws don’t take into account the desires of the deceased.

This means that the estate is likely to get tied up in court proceedings for years before it is finally resolved. No one wins in that situation, even if they get an inheritance.

Proper estate planning assisted by skilled probate lawyers from Bingham Legal Group will prevent this worst-case scenario. The first thing we will do is ensure that you have a well-written will that obeys the laws of the state and protects those you care about most.

All you need to do is tell us your wishes in simple terms and we will translate that to a legally binding document. We’ll help you identify all of your assets and maintain records so that your will can be easily administered when needed.

Another way we make the probate process go smoothly is by anticipating possible problems. For example, if a family member might contest the will, we consider that possibility and try to prevent it from happening during probate. It is easier to contact that family member in advance and negotiate an acceptable solution that we will then put in writing.

Challenges to the Probate Process

Probate administration rarely goes as smoothly as everyone wants it to. If you are an executor of a will, one problem you may face is someone contesting the will. This could end up with you in court for months or years representing the estate.

At Bingham Legal Group, we try to avoid having an estate tied up in court proceedings for years. That hurts everyone involved, including whoever contested the will.

Our attorneys are experienced in arbitration and mediation procedures. Just because someone disagrees with a will, that doesn’t mean you need a probate judge to decide the fate of the inheritance.

If possible, we’ll help you negotiate a fair option that every heir agrees to. Often, disputes involve only a single issue, such as:

  • Unpaid taxes
  • An unknown creditor
  • A family member claiming rights to a specific piece of property
  • Ambiguous wording in the will

There is no reason for an issue like this to tie up the rest of the will in litigation for months or years if it can be avoided. Arbitration and mediation often result in a fair compromise that everyone can accept. Even if negotiation fails to resolve all problems, it may simplify the process, making any court proceedings take less time.

And if there is no way to avoid court proceedings, Bingham Legal Group has thousands of hours of courtroom experience. Our attorneys will fight to protect the best interests of the deceased and the rightful heirs.

Contact Bingham Legal Group For Help With the Probate Process in Birmingham, MI

The probate process can be an unexpected headache when a loved one dies. You may expect to deal with the stress of arranging a funeral or cleaning out the home of your loved one, but you likely don’t expect their property and assets to be tied up in legal bureaucracy for a year or more.

At Bingham Legal Group, we understand how much stress the probate process can cause, especially when you are in mourning after the loss of a loved one. We are dedicated to helping make this process easier. Contact us immediately to schedule a free consultation with a probate lawyer if you are facing this situation.

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