If you are named the executor in a will and that individual has passed away, you’re probably wondering what you should do next. Mississippi law requires if a will is found, it must be probated Most conventional advice will tell you to hire a lawyer right away. While you may end up doing exactly that, it’s possible that you can get by without an attorney’s help.
If you’re dealing with an estate that owns no property and is under $50,000.00 in value, you may only need an attorney for limited advice. However, there are some situations that call for the help of a lawyer, specifically, a probate lawyer.
What They Can Do?
A probate lawyer Mississippi is a state licensed attorney who assists executors and beneficiaries of an estate go through the process in the Chancery Court where the deceased lived or died. Some of the tasks that these attorneys can assist with include:
- Locating and securing probate and nonprobate assets
- Preparing and filing all necessary Court pleadings
- Notifying all known creditors of the estate
- Filing and sending documents to Social Security
- Collecting life insurance proceeds
- Assisting with transfer of 401ks, IRAs and other retirement plans to the beneficiaries
- Advice on outstanding debt from decedent
- Addressing income tax issues
- Assisting with the sale of the property
- Settling disputes among beneficiaries
How Do I Know if I Need a Probate Lawyer Mississippi?
There is no law in MS that states that you have to use an attorney to validate an estate, but you may want one to help you through the process and ensure that you are making the right decisions. If you forget one step of the process, forget to publish notice to creditors or miss a deadline with the Court, for instance, you could stop the probate process or make things strained between you and the other beneficiaries.
Here are some indications that you will probably be best served with the help of a probate lawyer Mississippi.
- Complicated tax situation
- Ambiguities in the wording of the will
- Disputed claims
- Business continuation or buyout
- Problems with debts of the decedent or unfinished contracts
- Not enough money in the estate to pay off debts – insolvent estate
- Conflicts among beneficiaries