As Tysons Corner, Virginia, Bethesda, Maryland, and Washington, D.C. Probate attorneys, the Elder & Disability Law Center, handles probate administration for estates of any size. Contact us for a consultation.
What Is Probate?
The probate process is a court procedure by which a will is proved to be valid or invalid. Creditors of the estate have the opportunity to file claims against the estate and receive payment of those claims. After the administration fees and creditor claims are paid, the asset distribution takes place. The probate process can last anywhere from nine months to a year or more. A lawyer who is experienced in probate can navigate this sometimes difficult process for the family and executor of the estate.
Will Contests; Inheritance Disputes – Probate Litigation
The fact that someone leaves a will does not guarantee that their property will be distributed according to the will's terms. The probate court generally must provide an opportunity to allow others to object to the will, and a challenge may be brought by anyone who feels the will is inaccurate or invalid in some way. A will contest is an action disputing the will or its terms. If you feel that a will is inaccurate or invalid, or if someone is challenging a will you are administering or benefiting from, you should contact an attorney with experience in contested will cases. These types of cases are difficult and emotionally charged, so it is important to find a lawyer with whom you feel comfortable.
How Can I Avoid Probate?
Probate can be avoided with proper estate planning. A simple will does not avoid probate. However, a will coupled with the use of a revocable trust or the Uniform Non-Probate Transfer on Death Act would ensure your estate to pass outside of probate.
To schedule a consultation with an experienced Virginia, Maryland, and Washington, D.C., Probate attorney, contact the Elder & Disability Law Center through this Web site, by phone at 202-769-0207, 866-399-4324, or e-mail.