6 Questions to Ask Estate Attorneys

While the administration of an estate often requires a probate lawyer’s assistance, there are some times when an informal administration is the correct option. Some clients may have questions or concerns about the process, and some of the most commonly asked questions are answered below.

What’s the Difference Between an Informal and a Formal Administration?

Formal administration is typically overseen by an estate attorney, while an informal administration is completed by a representative who isn’t an attorney, but who is working on the decedent’s behalf.

Why do Some Clients Choose an Informal Administration?

An informal administration of an estate may be a viable option when the situation is sufficiently simple and doesn’t need a lawyer’s or a judge’s intervention. For small estates with uncontested wills and no tax issues, an informal administration can save a significant amount in legal fees.

When is Informal Administration Disallowed?

If a person’s will specifies a formal administration, if any involved parties disagree on the administration method or the application is denied by the Registrar of the probate court, the decedent’s estate will require a formal administration.

Who Should Serve as a Representative?

A personal representative can be any person who’s agreed on by all involved parties. An estate representative can be chosen in a will, but this does not constitute an automatic appointment.

What Does the Representative Do?

A representative acts on the decedent’s behalf to assess and distribute assets as intended in the will, and they keep everyone informed while submitting paperwork as required.

Can a Representative Hire an Attorney?

At any stage of the process, an estate representative can get advice and seek representation from an attorney. Anyone involved can request that the administration is made formal.

How is the Process Initiated?

To start an informal estate administration, certain paperwork must be filled and filed. Whether all signatures can be obtained or the court needs other things will determine which forms are filed. Documentation must also be published at certain points throughout the administration process.

A client who has questions about estate administration and wonders whether it is the right decision is encouraged to consult estate attorneys for advice. Call or click today to schedule an appointment.