If you search for “DC probate lawyer”, you will see that there are many law firms in the District of Columbia that offer legal advice to people who have been designated as the Personal Representative of an estate, or represent parties in a legal battle with their relatives over the assets of a deceased person. But just because there are many such attorneys, it does not mean that you should hire one. You really need to ask yourself if you need to hire a DC probate lawyer. Why? Because they can be very expensive.
Statistics from the District Probate Court show that approximately 80% of cases don’t have an attorney involved. Here are some examples:
You will not need a probate attorney if the deceased person did estate planning before he died and worked with a lawyer to properly distribute assets to his beneficiaries. But even if the deceased died without leaving a will, you will not need any legal intervention if the assets in question can be transferred outside of probate court, like assets that are held in tenancy and assets held in a living trust.
Also, you may not need a lawyer if the assets are “held in common” meaning that they are the usual house, car and bank account. Obviously, if there are complex legal entities that need to be divided among the heirs like a corporation and the deceased did not name a successor, you may need to call on a probate lawyer.
If the heirs get along and can agree among themselves who gets what, there should be no need for a probate lawyer for arbitration. But this really depends on whether or not there are no significant debts that need to be paid first. By significant debts, we mean that the debt amount could significantly bite into the assets.
If the size of the estate is too small to owe any federal or state tax, there is no need for a probate lawyer. But how small is too small? Well, that really depends on the state you are in. There are around 20 states that only impose taxes if the value is $1 million or above.
These are just some examples where expensive legal representation may not be necessary. WE ARE NOT ATTORNEYS. WE ARE REALTORS. As Realtors we are providing information based on our experience of 30 years working with probate clients. Please visit our On-Line Resources Section. You will be able to download our FREE – “When Someone Dies” reference. It is packed with information on the probate process.
As you can see from above, it is highly like that you will not need to hire a probate lawyer. But if you are in doubt about the will a deceased person left behind, you should contact an attorney for limited legal advice.
As we said earlier, in the District of Columbia, there are many probate attorneys out there that you can hire. But who do you hire? Using a PRESS – Probate Real Estate Services and Sales service is much more cost effective and GUARANTEE to help you.
Before you start looking for a dc probate lawyer you need to speak to the professionals at PRESS. They specialize in probate especially when real estate is involved.