Helping You Understand The Probate Process

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.

Within the first few days following the death of a loved one, grieving family members are often overwhelmed by all that must be done. From making funeral arrangements to notifying distant relatives and locating estate planning documents, it is a lot of work during this time of mourning.

In the weeks following the death of a family member, you may find that you are ill-equipped or just too busy to handle all of the necessary paperwork and responsibilities of guiding your loved one's estate through the probate administration process. You do not have to face this time alone. A lawyer can help.

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 may file claims against the estate and receive payment of those claims. After the administration fees, creditor claims and taxes 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.

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 website, by phone at 202-452-0000 or 866-399-4324 or by e-mail.