Probate Lawyer Serving Oak Park, MI

Probate Lawyer Serving Oak Park, MI

Probate Attorney Oak Park, MI

Estate planning is a little bit like taxes. Everyone should take care of it as soon as possible, but many people put it off as long as possible. That is understandable. Thinking about what will happen after you die is a difficult proposition, and dealing with probate attorneys may feel daunting.

At Bingham Legal Group, we understand those concerns and work through them with you. We approach estate planning with compassion and make the legal process as transparent as possible. If you need any type of probate or estate planning services, contact our Oak Park, Michigan, attorneys today.

Why Estate Planning Matters

To understand the importance of estate planning, you need to understand the probate process. It is the process that the state requires for administering a will. Unlike what you may have seen on television or in movies, this process is anything but quick.

The average probate process takes between six months and a year. That is a long time to wait, and that is only the average. If there is no will in place or the will is poorly written, it can take years longer. This is why it is so important to have experienced estate planning attorneys help you and your loved ones create their wills.

But why does it take so long? The state of Michigan wants to minimize the likelihood that mistakes are made when administering the will. To avoid these mistakes, the probate process includes:

  • Investigation of the will and the circumstances surrounding its creation
  • Confirmation that the deceased was in their right mind when they made the will
  • Appointment of an executor to administer the will
  • Discovery of all debts that the deceased owed and what creditors they were owed to
  • Payment of those debts
  • Determination of all taxes owed by the estate and payment of those taxes
  • Locating and notifying all beneficiaries of the will
  • Giving heirs and others not mentioned in the will time to contest it
  • Distribution of all assets and property

It is an extensive process that requires a significant amount of effort, primarily by the executor of the will. Several legal and administrative rules must be followed, and it is easy to run afoul of bureaucracy.

The experienced representation of probate lawyers from Bingham Legal Group can help speed up the process and make sure that the executor avoids common mistakes. If the deceased has taken advantage of our estate planning services, it will be easier for the probate court to verify the validity of the will and for the executor to administer it.

Regardless of whether we assisted with the creation of the will, we can assist with the administration of it. Our probate attorneys have experience discovering assets, debts, and people, no matter how difficult they are to find. This can speed up parts of the probate process by months or even years, depending on how complicated the will is.

We also ensure that the estate doesn’t run afoul of state or federal laws, including tax codes. The most frustrating probate process is one where it gets tied up in the courts, not because someone contested the will but rather because the executor made a legal or administrative mistake.

Estates Without a Will

The best reason to get estate planning services for yourself and your aging loved ones is to avoid the havoc that comes when the probate process begins without a will in place. When this happens, you are lucky if the process takes only a year.

When someone dies without a will, the probate process is similar but even more methodic. The probate court will appoint an executor. But without a will to designate who that executor should be, it must try to determine who will best represent the interests of the deceased.

This process can take months if multiple parties vie to be the executor or potential heirs oppose possible executors. When there is a conflict, the court will hold hearings, examine evidence, and hear from witnesses. In the best-case scenario, it will choose a good executor, but that is unlikely to happen quickly.

Then, because there is no will, the executor must distribute assets and property based on the laws of the state. This will give preference to family members who have closer blood ties to the deceased rather than those who had stronger relationships with the deceased.

Again, this process can take a long time to resolve, in part because potential heirs can petition to be included in this distribution. Each of those petitions must be heard by the court, resulting in months or years of hearings where potentially piles of evidence are presented.

Our estate administration attorneys can help if a loved one passes away without a will. We will work with the executor to help them efficiently identify and notify all potential heirs. Our attorneys will also explain Michigan laws to make the process move smoothly.

Because we have decades of experience, we can identify potential problems before they arise, including likely petitions to the court.

Arbitration Services

As noted, if someone contests any part of an inheritance (whether there is a will or not), it can add years to the time it takes to administer that will as that contestation goes through the courts. There is an alternative, though.

At Bingham Legal Group, we offer mediation and arbitration services when there are disputes regarding the estate of a deceased. Mediation and arbitration can reduce months or years of legal wrangling down to weeks or days. It also typically saves money for all parties involved and may help preserve relationships between friends and family.

If you expect to contest a will or expect a will to be contested, contact the mediation and arbitration attorneys at Bingham Legal Group. We’ll explain the process to you and how it can potentially help.

Why You Need a Probate Attorney

There are two times in your life when you most need a probate lawyer: when you create a will (or a trust) and when a loved one has recently died.

In the first situation, a probate lawyer has the experience to make the process of creating a will or a trust as painless as possible. We will explain the differences and help you choose options that are best for you and your family. You should also contact us if you have an aging family member who has never made a will.

In the second situation, whether you are an heir or the executor, an Oak Park probate attorney can simplify the process while protecting the interests of you and the deceased.

Contact Bingham Legal Group, Serving Oak Park, MI Immediately

What should you do after a loved one dies? There is no right answer when it comes to your emotional response. But legally, you should contact a probate lawyer as soon as possible to protect your legal rights during the probate process.

At Bingham Legal Group, we provide compassionate support for people who are mourning the loss of a loved one. You deserve to get the inheritance that your loved one wanted you to have as quickly as possible — and that is what we will fight for. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation.

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