If you've suddenly had a parent pass away, there are many things to prepare for well beyond a memorial service. While the gathering of family and friends will provide some comfort and support, you'll have to start thinking about who will be in charge and eventually hold possession of the remaining assets and estate, especially if your other parent is already deceased. Here are a few steps to take if you and the remaining family survivors can't agree on financial and property distribution.
While you're gathered around at your parent's home and going through all of their personal belongings, this is the time to talk about what the next step is in regards to personal property and who gets what. The goal is to come up with a resolution where everyone gets what they want without conflict. Maybe you wish to have some of your mom's jewelry or some old photographs, and maybe your sibling would like to inherit some of the farm implements on the property. If your parent never left any of this information in a will or made no will at all, you may have to go to probate court. If you can't agree about who gets what, it's time to contact a probate lawyer to help you sort out all of the assets involved.
Name An Executor
If you have another sibling or two, one of you will have to become an executor to the estate, if not already named so somewhere in a legal document. If there is no will, the case will likely go to probate and the probate judge will decide who will become the executor and oversee the estate. This person is a liaison to the judge and should be as neutral as possible when it comes to providing information about your parent's personal and physical property. The judge may rule on intestate succession, in which he will distribute the estate evenly throughout the immediate surviving family members.
Try To Handle Asset Distribution Out Of Court
If at all possible, try to handle the distribution of assets outside of court. This will save money and prevent the assets from being held up in court for several months or years. Coming to a resolution before filing a motion in court will allow you to get the estate settled faster and put the entire process behind you. On the contrary, if you feel you're being treated unfairly by a sibling or someone else who is managing the state, always call your probate attorney right away for advice.
Contact A Probate Attorney
With no will, contacting a probate attorney is the best option, to ensure that everything regarding your parent's estate is handled properly. Even if you are agreeing with your siblings on what you want and how to divide the property, you'll need a reputable probate attorney to file the necessary paperwork to distribute funds and property. A probate attorney can work for you directly or if another attorney is involved, he can represent you as your case moves to court.
Avoiding a huge probate issue is something everyone wants. Contact a probate lawyer such as David R Webb Attorney today to make sure you're being treated fairly.