Helping my clients with probate issues - part two
As I said last week, helping clients with their probate cases is one of the most rewarding parts of my job as an attorney. It makes me happy to reduce some of the stress for them as they deal with the loss of a loved one while having to face a process about which they are unfamiliar.
Take the case of Joe Smith (not his real name). Joe’s only sister died unexpectedly, and it was awfully difficult for him. Fortunately, the deed to the house in which she lived was in her name and Mr. James’ name, with rights of joint survivorship. That means that upon her death the home because his by operation of law.
Because his sister left no other real estate in her name and left less than $25,000, I was able to prepare a petition for the probate of a “small estate”. After the petition was filed with the court, I made sure no claims had been filed against his sister’s estate. A small estate requires much less time and work than other estates do.
I then filed a petition to settle the estate. The small estate law reduces the time and cost involved in probating an estate. Mr. James was glad that it wasn’t necessary for the case to last longer and cost more.