Inheritance issues can cause a lot of friction and increase stress after the death of a loved one. Your worry may even be heightened if it's your first time handling such an issue. Thankfully, estate lawyers can help you go about this process without too much turmoil. You can trust these professionals because they're experienced and professional in their dealings. Here are three ways they'll help you solve inheritance issues.
1. Ensuring All Legal Requirements Are Fulfilled
Inheritance issues may arise from legal requirements that aren't fulfilled before transferring the property to the rightful heirs. These requirements include deciding who is legally entitled to the property, determining the value of what will be transferred, and making sure all debts are paid. You may also be required to file estate taxes and probate the will to ensure it's valid. Failing to follow these requirements may result in disputes over who rightfully owns what property after death.
A lawyer can make this process seem less daunting and relatively painless. They'll go through the legal requirements with you and explain what should happen. They'll also help you gather the required information and documents to ensure everything is in order during the distribution.
2. Avoiding Tax Liability
Tax issues are another major concern when it comes to inheritance. The IRS requires you to report estate assets failure, of which the money that should go to the heirs will be taxed. The federal and state governments may also take a huge chunk of the property to pay off any outstanding debts.
Estate attorneys can help you with proper tax filing to minimize liability. They'll also go through the deceased's financial affairs to ensure all debts are paid before any property is distributed to heirs and all assets are reported and valued correctly. If you have taxes due, they can help you file for an extension if necessary.
3. Preparation and Drafting of Testaments
A will is one of the most basic estate planning documents. It's a legally binding declaration of how property should be distributed after death. You can bequeath everything you own to a single heir or divide it among several beneficiaries.
Estate attorneys draft wills for clients who want their wishes carried out in the event of their death. They'll help you decide who should inherit your property and how it should be divided. They'll also take care of any other legal issues that arise during the drafting process, such as making sure that you're legally competent to make decisions about your property. Even if you don't have a large estate, you should still let an attorney draft for you a will because, without one, the state will decide how your property is distributed.
Hiring an estate lawyer when dealing with inheritance issues can save you a lot of time and money. They'll handle all the legal aspects to enable you to focus on other essential things.