When you lose a loved one and must go through probate in court to handle what they have left behind, you do not necessarily have to hire an attorney for help. However, there are plenty of good reasons to go ahead and get a probate attorney to help you through this complicated process. When you initially reach out to one of these legal professionals for assistance, it is best if you can bring along pertinent pieces of information that the court will need. Take a look at some of the things to bring with you when you schedule a consultation with a probate attorney.
Bring the will and testament.
The last will and testament is perhaps one of the biggest things your probate attorney will need if there is one available. This document will tell the attorney what it is your loved one wanted to see happen upon their death, so the attorney can help make sure their final wishes are carried out properly. If your loved one did not create a will, they may have created a testament, which is just a statement of what someone wants to see happen with their belongings on some level. A will tends to be broken down in a more detailed way, but in either case, your attorney will need these documents.
Bring documents related to the deceased's banking information.
The money held in bank accounts will be a part of probate just like tangible assets. Therefore, the attorney will need bank statements or other documents that show how much is held in the accounts and how many different accounts there are. You won't have access to these accounts until probate is over and the assets have been properly distributed by the court, but you can talk to the bank and let them know what is taking place and they will help you obtain the documents you need.
Bring a list of all of the assets that you know about.
Creating a general list of all the assets your loved one has is something a lot of people don't really think to do, but it will be very helpful to the probate process. The attorney can try to line up what assets are available and what is stated in the will or testament. When creating a list, don't forget to include any real estate property owned, vehicles (including boats, ATVs, RVs, and farm equipment), and furniture.
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