Wiles McMichael is a full-service estate, tax and business planning law firm that was founded in 2007. We help individuals and business owners protect their assets and preserve their legacies through our tailored wealth preservation and business planning strategies.
When an asset-holder passes, the court reviews their properties and provides the final ruling on the distribution of assets to beneficiaries. This process is called probate. Probate is the legal procedure in which a will is examined to determine if it is the true last testament of the deceased. It is the first step in administering a deceased person's estate.
The will often declares an executor,/personal representative (PR) who is the person responsible for disposing of the assets in the manner specified in the document.
If you were named an executor/PR, it is highly recommended you hire legal representation to guide and assist you in administering the duties you have been presented with.
However, probate litigation can be a complex matter. Personal relationships are at risk if the proceedings don't go smoothly.
It is the executor's duty to fulfill the deceased person's wishes and act in the estate's best interest. The assistance of an estate lawyer can significantly streamline the entire process.
Dealing with legal issues is difficult in itself, but when the death of a loved one is added into the mix, the ordeal becomes all the more stressful. Don't make it harder for yourself. Partner with legal professionals to assist you in handling the probate settlement.
Reach out to us if you require a probate lawyer in Charleston SC and Macon, GA to assist you in your probate settlement. Our team of professionals at Wiles McMichael are more than willing to accommodate your needs.
Four Best Practices in Probate Settlement
Helpful Methods To Become an Effective and Efficient Executor
1. Secure the Will and Other Documents
As an executor/PR, you should secure an original copy of the will and other pertinent documents, such as insurance policies and deeds. Without these essential papers, the probate process will become more complicated than it already is. In addition, you'll need to submit a copy of the will to the probate court to initiate the probate process. Typically, an executor/PR must file this with the court within a few weeks after the death.
3. Keep Records Safe
Probate proceedings involve a lot of paperwork. Therefore, the executor/PR should keep track of all of the documents. This makes it easier for you or your probate lawyer to present you. Everything from real estate properties, bank, and investment accounts, and even art collectibles must be accounted for. The probate attorney you end up hiring will have to create a detailed list of all the assets in question and you will have to keep them safe until they are distributed amongst the beneficiaries.
2. Seek Advice From Professionals
The probate process is complicated, even for those with a legal or financial background. Taking care of it yourself will only make the litigation longer. The best solution you can implement is to seek the advice of professionals to help you avoid mistakes and complete the task a lot easier. It greatly helps to have a lawyer that will give you advice on which steps to take.
Preparation goes a long way in probate settlement. You will be appointed executor/PR when the testator (deceased person) passes away, so conducting the best practices mentioned will significantly reduce the stress of your obligations. With organization and record-keeping, you may fulfill your responsibilities more quickly. In addition, having the right professional by your side is invaluable. A probate lawyer sees different versions of the same issues every day, so they can help advise you on methods beneficial to the estate.
It’s done! For now any way. My wife and I finally updated and completed most all of our end of life planning decisions and legal matters including the Smith Family Trust, Healthcare Poxies & Access, Power of Attorney, etc. Huge shout out to Tripp Wiles, Alex Richey and everyone at Wiles McMichael, for their professionalism and help, great group of folks to work with on these important matters. I highly recommend them. –M.S.
It was such a pleasure meeting everyone at Wiles McMichael. I feel at ease by Wiles McMichael sharing their knowledge, compassion, and concern. – S.H.
It is a feeling of comfort to know the staff of Wiles McMichael are here to promptly come to our rescue when needed. We continue to thank each of you for your patience and guidance in making certain we have all our documents set up properly. – J.C.K.
The attorneys and staff at Wiles McMichael are OUTSTANDING! I will be forever grateful that they were referred to us to handle our family estate. They are extremely knowledgeable. More importantly, they are caring, sincere individuals that will have your best interests protected. – L.G.
Our clients come first here at Wiles McMichael. We know that probate settlement can be tedious and time-consuming, so we make it our top priority to make the process as easy as possible. We will carry out complicated will provisions and draft all necessary court documents while complying with the court's guidelines. We work hard to achieve your total satisfaction and aim to exceed your expectations.
At first, probate can be a baffling process for those who are involved. If you choose to partner with an estate probate attorney from our firm, we get your questions answered and remain transparent. In addition, our team will keep you informed so you know what to expect as the case progresses. Any disputes that may arise will be handled professionally. We solve issues early on to make the process as inexpensive as possible for those concerned.
The amount of work that goes into probate settlements is immense, so it comes as no surprise that most people would want to avoid it instead of dealing with it head-on. Wiles McMichael has been providing legal services for 15 years. Our extensive experience in the industry makes us confident in our ability to provide you with the best legal solution for probate settlements.
Tailored and Committed Service
There isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution for law proceedings, especially in complicated probate settlements. Sometimes, a case will require you to do more than settle an estate. You may need to pay debts and pass out bequests, which will require specific and skills. Probate settlement attorneys take time to assess and understand your unique situation to help you navigate your way through the probate process.
Attention to Details
Executors/PRs have a lot of responsibilities to fulfill, and our partners are willing to handle the finer technical points during probate to avoid unnecessary mistakes. Mistakes in probate can be detrimental to the executor. You may become financially liable for your inadvertent mistake when an error is made. Hiring an experienced Charleston probate attorney can help you minimize this possibility.
Attempting to administer an estate without the help of a probate attorney can lead to a lot of trial-and-error. Of course, you will come to a resolution eventually, but as it is a crucial matter, probate should always be handled with more care and efficiency. An estate probate attorney from our firm can help guide you in your role as executor and offer professional advice, with the goal of saving you a lot of time and hassle in the probate settlement process.