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Fairfax Probate Lawyer

If there is a problem with a will, more than likely, it will go before a probate court. Probate is the process of deciding how the property mentioned in a will be divided up, and it is supervised by the state court. Probate can be a long and expensive process, but sometimes, it is necessary to ensure the will of a person is carried out correctly.

If you have been named as an heir to the property of someone else, but their will is currently being probated, you may need to hire a Fairfax probate lawyer to ensure you receive what is yours. Work with an experienced trust and estates lawyer that could work towards a positive outcome for you.

Understanding the Probate Process

When drafting a will, the vast majority of individuals hope to avoid the probate process in the future. Unfortunately, sometimes it is unavoidable, and the validity of a will simply cannot be established. If this occurs, the will must go before a court, which will be tasked with ensuring the wishes of the deceased individual are carried out properly.

The probate court will carefully examine the will and ensure any property mentioned in it is divided up correctly, disputes are settled, and debts and taxes are paid off. If the heirs believe the estate is divided up fairly, the document will remain uncontested, but if an heir does not believe the will fairly divides up the estate, they do have the right to contest it. If this occurs, the contesting individual will need to submit proof the will is not valid for some reason.

Drawbacks of the Probate Process

There are many reasons people strive to avoid the probate process, including the following:

  • Fees – Probate is expensive, and individuals may be required to pay court costs, executor fees, and attorney fees. These fees can greatly reduce the size of an estate.
  • Complexity – The probate process may require courts to find and seek out every living relative or anyone who has a claim to the estate. They may also need to bring in experts and outside individuals to provide testimony if someone does not believe the will is valid.
  • Time – It can take a considerable amount of time for the probate process to officially end. This means heirs will not have access to any property or funds for months, and in particularly complicated cases, years.

When a will is probated, it can also place an immense strain on family ties and relationships.

Contesting a Will

Probate can be a complex process, and if a person is a designated heir, they should hire a Fairfax probate lawyer to represent their interests. It can be hard to contest a will alone, but with the right lawyer, individuals can ensure the will of their loved one is honored properly. Individuals may be able to avoid having their will go into probate by drafting a living trust with the aid of a lawyer.

Any property that is held in trust will not be part of a probate estate. Once a deceased individual dies their trustee can transfer the property to the heirs as indicated in the will.

Reaching Out to a Fairfax Probate Attorney

Very few people enjoy the probate process, but it is possible to simplify the process with the help of an attorney. A skilled probate lawyer can help represent your interests in court, especially if someone else believes you are not entitled to the property a loved one has set aside for you in their will. Reach out to a Fairfax probate lawyer today to discuss the details of your case.