Do I Need a Des Moines Probate Lawyer?
While you do not technically need an attorney to go through the probate process, the truth is, probate can be quite complex. Disputes and other complications are far from unheard of when it comes to the probate process, and if any of those should arise, you will want to have knowledgeable legal assistance on your side.
What is Probate?
The main purpose of the probate process is to ensure that the decedent’s outstanding debts are paid off, that assets are distributed accordingly, and that the estate is settled according to your loved one’s wishes. If your loved one passed away with a will and named you as his or her personal representative, you are known as the executor. If your loved one passed away without a will, the probate court will select an administrator. Whether you are the executor or the administrator of your loved one’s estate, you will most likely have a lot on your plate.
What is the Probate Process Like in Iowa?
There are various steps to the probate process, and though the process often differs on a case-by-case basis, the probate process generally progresses as follows:
- File a petition with the probate court in the town the decedent lived in.
- Appoint an executor or administrator to carry out the estate.
- Formally validate the decedent’s last will and testament.
- Inform all beneficiaries of the decedent’s passing.
- Inform creditors that the decedent has passed away, providing them with a means to receive such payments during the probate process. You will then have to settle these debts, even if it means liquidating certain assets the decedent left behind.
- Take stock of the decedent’s assets (such as real estate properties) and ensure you have them properly valued.
- File the decedent’s tax returns. In certain cases, you may also have to file certain estate taxes.
- Distribute the decedent’s assets to his or her beneficiaries.
- Submit a final report to the probate court and close out the estate. The final report must be meticulous; proving that you took all of the necessary steps to legally and properly settle the estate. Our firm will ensure that you successfully complete the probate process and submit a pristine final report. As long as everything checks out, the court will settle the estate, thereby concluding the probate process.
Contact a Des Moines Probate Lawyer
The probate process can be very involved, especially if disputes should ever arise, which is why it is always best to hire an attorney who has guided countless individuals through the probate process in the past. Fortunately, you have just found that attorney here at Herting Law. Contact our firm today so we can get started.