Probate Attorney

Wills lawyer East Greenwich, RI 

Probate Attorney East Greenwich, RI

At McCarthy Law, LLC, our probate attorneys and legal team have worked on probate matters with families in Rhode Island for many years. We understand how important it is to identify the right approach. Enlist in the legal services of a probate lawyer in East Greenwich, RI  to set an estate plan in place that can help your family manage and navigate the challenges of probate more easily and efficiently.

Probate can be complicated, stress-inducing, and lengthy – but it doesn't have to be. While the Rhode Island probate process is often an annoyance, there is more to handling probate than outright trying to avoid it. There is no one-size-fits-all approach in such situations, so hiring an estate planning attorney with a clear understanding of the law and how it applies to your family and your specific circumstances is crucial.

Probate in Rhode Island begins after a loved one passes away. The probate process starts simply enough — it requires filing a petition with the local court. In the petition, a person (typically a relative of the deceased individual) files a petition to begin the probate process. They present a death certificate and the last will and testament (if it exists). 

The probate process oversees the review and distribution of the dead loved one’s estate and settles any existing disputes regarding their will. These actions ensure that the right will is given legitimacy. Conflicts can usually be avoided by creating an airtight and carefully crafted estate plan with an estate planning professional.

Once the courts start the probate process, the first step involves assigning a willing and able administrator to oversee the last will and testament's execution. Some people name their own executors in their will or estate plan. Others get assigned by the courts based on their competence and relationship to the deceased individual.

Often, the deceased person's spouse or eldest child is the choice for the executor. If no one assumes the task, a third party can be chosen and appointed by the probate court. This third party is typically someone with a fiduciary responsibility to the deceased individual and their beneficiaries. Or, it is often a probate attorney.

Once an executor is established, the probate process begins. The more complicated the estate is, the longer the probate process may take. This is where the services of an experienced probate attorney become essential. East Greenwich probate attorneys provide the ability to navigate even the most challenging estates. They help families deal with a painstaking and often overwhelming probate process, reducing their overall stress and worry.

Get the Legal Help You Need

McCarthy Law, LLC is a full-service law firm. We represent clients with commitment and compassion. Contact us to schedule a consultation. We’ll guide you through every step of the process and develop a unique strategy that meets your needs. Please contact us at your earliest convenience to get started.

Probate Lawyer 

It’s no secret that the probate process is complex and that is why hiring a probate lawyer is often in your best interests. With so many parties involved, such as creditors, executors, beneficiaries, heirs, and liquidators, it is often a complicated process that can feel overwhelming, especially during the grieving process.

However, just like in any area of the law, there are always common misunderstandings and misconceptions about the process. The laws are already complex and these misconceptions can make it seem that the probate process is unnecessary or just one massive headache.

Common Misconceptions About Probate 

Just like with anything, they’re going to be misconceptions about the process. Here’s some of the most common misconceptions about probate and why they simply just aren’t true.

Myth #1: If you have a will, your estate will not go through the probate process

Even if a person’s wishes are well documented in a will, it does not mean that the person’s estate will bypass the probate process. The truth is the probate process is validating and giving effect to the will. The taxes and debts of the deceased have to be paid from the estate first before any property passes on to a named beneficiary. The will must also be accepted by the court as valid before anything can happen. There are a number of ways a will could prove to be invalid, and all of these issues could lead to the probate process.

Myth #2: The probate process takes years, often decades 

While it is true that the probate process takes time, it is rare that it often takes more than a year. The turnaround time is going to vary based on each individual circumstance but in most cases the probate of a typical estate can be completed in less than five months to a year. There are instances where probate can last longer than a year but this typically involves insistence of very wealthy estates that are continuing to earn money after the sun has passed. The process takes so long because creditors of the deceased must be provided an opportunity to file a claim against the estate for any outstanding debts. Once the waiting period is over, the state can be closed as soon as the personal representative has gathered all the assets and paid all the debts and taxes. 

Myth #3: Nothing is left of the estate after probate 

While it is true that probate can be expensive, it doesn’t mean that it is going to cost the entire estate. The cost is going to be independent of each state’s law. The cost of probate and estate is always going to be based on the individual circumstances. If litigation is involved or legal work is provided above and beyond ordinary services, then the cost is going to rise. In many cases though, probate is not going to take up the cost of the entire estate and there will be things left for the descendants of the deceased.

Myth #4: As the oldest, I’m entitled to be the executor of my parent’s estate 

Just because you are the oldest doesn’t mean that you have any weight when it comes to being the executor of deceased parents’ estate. If the deceased person named an executor in the will, the court is going to appoint that person unless there is an excellent reason not to. In cases where there is no will or the person named as the executor and the will cannot or does not want to serve, then the court will appoint someone. However, sibling order is not a factor the courts take into account. In most states, the surviving spouse is next in line and then the adult children.

Probate isn’t an easy process. If you are going through it, then contacting a probate lawyer from the team at McCarthy Law, LLC,  is often in your best interest. 


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