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When Do You Need to Hire a Probate Lawyer – A Brief Guide

Probate is only necessary after someone has passed away. There needs to be a death for you to need a probate attorney. If somebody has not died then you are not going to need – for most purposes – a probate attorney because probate deals after someone has passed away.


What is Probate?

What probate actually is about is transferring assets, such as a house, bank accounts, money, and investments – transferring all these sorts of things from the name of the person who died to their heirs or beneficiaries. 

They might have or might not have had a will, but probate will occur after someone has died, and then you need to transfer assets. If this happens, then you might have to hire a probate attorney to resolve such matters legally.


When is Probate Necessary?

If you contact a probate attorney and tell them that your loved one has passed away and they owned certain property, then your probate attorney will ask you what they owned. If they owned a house, the probate attorney would ask whether the house was in their name only.

If they owned a piece of real estate or a piece of property and it was in their name only – then – depending on your state, the probate is probably going to be necessary. 


Transfer of Property

If your loved one passes away or owns a piece of property or real estate with someone else, such as if they were married and both people’s names are on the title, then probate might not be necessary. To transfer real estate, you should look at the title to know whether or not probate is going to be necessary to transfer real estate.


Transfer of Cars

When it comes to cars, a lot of times, you can transfer the title of cars at the local Department of Motor Vehicles, also known as the DMV, without having to go through a probate. Most of the time, this is quite possible – if, for one reason or another, you cannot do so, you can get in touch with a probate attorney to do what is needed. 


Transfer of Bank Accounts 

When it comes to bank accounts, the same rule applies. The probate lawyer will ask about how that bank account was owned and if it was owned by a married couple where both spouses are on the bank account – then probate is not going to be necessary as the surviving spouse can go in there and access the money.

There could also be the chance for a beneficiary to be on the account. On that note, if someone else was named as a beneficiary on the account, then probate is probably not going to be necessary. These are probably the most common things to know about the necessity of probate. 


What Happens in the Case of a Lifetime Sentence?

It is important to mention here that even if your loved one goes to prison for life, probate won’t apply as their property is theirs until they die. Before the sentence, you can get a bondsman to get them out of jail so that they can mend their legal affairs, but the final decisions regarding what happens to their property remain with them and whatever they instruct their lawyer. 



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