Other Legal Services

Do You Require Probate or Other Legal Services?

Anderson Estate Planning has strong alliances with attorneys who deal with probate, small estate administration or guardianship issues.  Contact us today in order to schedule an appointment with an attorney who can assist you with these matters.

Probate

When someone dies having an executed Will, probate is the government (i.e., court) process used to determine the validity of the Will, and to manage the payment of creditors and the distribution of estate assets according to the Will.  However, even if
the decedent left no valid Will, the estate still can go through probate  In that case, there will be no individual direction regarding the manner in which assets should be distributed, and the estate will be handled strictly according to the dictates of state law.  Also, a separate probate may be necessary in each state where the decedent owned assets.

Probating an estate generally includes the following functions:

  • Petitioning the court to probate (or accept) the Will
  • Providing notice of the probate proceedings to creditors, beneficiaries and any other interested parties
  • Collecting, inventorying and appraising all estate assets
  • Collecting any payments, debts and income still due to the estate
  • Paying any debts owed by the estate, including filing and paying local,
    state and federal taxes
  • Distributing any remaining assets to beneficiaries in accordance with the
    terms of the Will or state law.

If you have been designated as the executor of an estate, contact us to schedule a consultation with an experienced probate attorney who can assist you with these matters.

Small Estates

Most states have a “fast-track” or simplified probate process for smaller estates
that meet certain qualifications.  Normally, this process can cut the time and cost of probate significantly.  Contact us to determine whether or not this process applies to your situation.

Guardianship

Becoming the guardian of a minor child or another adult allows you to obtain temporary or permanent control over decisions relating to that person, including (but not limited to):

  • Physical custody for the establishment of a permanent residence.
  • The ability to make decisions regarding medical and financial issues.
  • Authority over educational and religious choices.

Who may need a guardian to protect their rights?

  • People who are mentally incompetent, when they attain age 18.
  • Elderly people who are incapacitated due to physical or mental disabilities.
  • Minor children with parents who have died, who are in prison, who have substance abuse issues or who have become physically or mentally incompetent.
  • Victims of accidents who have been injured to the extent they can no longer care for (or make decisions for) themselves.
  • People who suffer from mental illness, or alcohol or drug addiction, or who are a danger to themselves or others.

If you are concerned about the health, safety and general welfare of another individual, contact us to schedule a meeting with an attorney about the guardianship process.