In our blog we will try to provide you with general information regarding family law, as well as updates in important cases and statutes dealing with family law in New Hampshire. This is not to be construed as legal advice. Every case is unique and small facts can make a difference.
Defining the Role of a New Hampshire Probate Attorney
Most New Hampshire citizens have heard of probate attorneys, but they are unfamiliar with the role they play in the New Hampshire estate planning. In its most basic definition, the role a New Hampshire probate attorney could be described as a specialized lawyer who files the last will and testament of deceased individuals. It is not uncommon for nasty disputes to arise over the distribution property. An NH probate may also be referred to as a trust or estate lawyer.
The probate process begins immediately upon the passing of an individual. It is the process by which the deceased’s estate and assets are distributed. If an individual dies with a will in place, then the named beneficiaries are the ones who receive the assets. In a will, an executor is named, and this is the individual who is responsible for overseeing the distribution of the estate.
In a New Hampshire court of law, an NH probate lawyer will represent the interests of the executor and the named heirs. If legal pleadings or motions must be filed, then the attorney will handle these. In the event that the court system questions the validity of the will or if other family members decide to contest the will, the probate attorney will provide legal representation and advice during these times. In many instances, the probate lawyer will be named the executor of the estate. If during the physical distribution of assets, changes to property titles or transfers are required, the attorney will provide assistance here as well. The guidance that such an attorney provides is often invaluable to grieving family members.
A probate attorney assists an individual in creating a last testament and will, so that their family members will be provided with a measure of security in the event of their untimely passing. In addition to trust planning, other arenas that New Hampshire estate lawyers provide assistance in include the creation of living trusts, medical powers of attorney, and general power of attorney. A professional and experienced New Hampshire estate lawyer can also provide assistance with asset protection, the legalities of income taxes, and the requesting of a particular course of action regarding retitling the deceased’s assets inherited by their beneficiaries.
Under the requirements set forth by New Hampshire state law, an individual is not required to hire the assistance of an attorney to prepare a will or to handle the affairs of an estate, but it is strongly recommended. Failure to legally execute property can result in a personal liability lawsuit, which can create a myriad of problems for a decedent’s heirs. Furthermore, challenges to existing wills frequently occur on a regular basis in the New Hampshire court systems, and when this situation arises, it is crucial for all parties to be represented by experienced and professional New Hampshire probate lawyers.
It is an unfortunate reality that many New Hampshire citizens fail to consider hiring the services of a probate attorney during their lifetime. As a result, when a loved one passes away, it is left up to those who are left behind to sort out their estate. With the impending sense of urgency to have an estate settled, family members are not provided with the time needed to seek an out a probate attorney who will represent their best interests and those of the deceased.
The job description of an NH probate lawyer is deceptively simple. When it comes to the settlement and distribution of an estate, the process can be straightforward and simple, or it can be convoluted and confusing. The end result is going to depend upon the amount of effort the deceased placed into estate planning while they were still living. Although death is a subject that many prefer not to discuss, it is one that must be addressed.
Now is an ideal time to stress the importance of having a last will and testament in place or a living trust. Doing so will minimize the amount of stress your loved ones feel at the time of your passing. Ensuring that legal issues are settled before your passing is critical, because a single mistake can set the execution of your estate back by months. Those who are currently seeking the services of professional and experienced New Hampshire probate attorneys are encouraged to contact our law offices today for a free consultation. Ultimately, creating a last will and testament can be the best gift you can provide your loved ones after your passing.
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