Most people choose to use a last Will to direct the distribution of their assets after they pass away, but it is important to recognize the fact that you have other choices.
There are those who execute revocable living trusts instead, and this is something that you may want to consider. Simply set up a consultation with an experienced and qualified estate planning attorney and your lawyer will explain all the details to you so that you can make an informed decision.
If you do use a last Will the estate must pass through the legal process of probate. While technically it is not against the law to enter into this process without legal representation you really should retain the services of a probate attorney if you are charged with the responsibility of administering an estate.
This is especially true if there are any complexities such as guardianship matters, contractual obligations, unusual assets, and/or estate tax exposure.
A very logical course of action would be to arrange for the attorney who assisted you as you drew up your last Will to act as the probate attorney after you pass away. In this manner the lawyer that you choose will already have a firm understanding of your situation and he or she will have constructed a last will with the nuances of the local surrogate court in mind.
Retaining the appropriate legal counsel will ensure a smooth passage through probate, and your heirs will ultimately receive their inheritances in an efficient manner.
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