However, dying without a will, called intestate, is a far more common occurrence. The American Bar Association estimates that 55% of Americans die intestate. Dying intestate comes with a host of issues. Without a will dictating how an estate should be distributed, the Probate Court has to follow the State’s Laws of Inheritance and Intestacy. This is not ideal because it cuts the decedent’s family or loved ones out of the decision. It also cuts the family out of deciding who should be the personal representative of the estate. This could cause a lot of issues. But, as mentioned, intestacy is, unfortunately, the norm rather than the exception. An experienced attorney is especially needed in a situation of intestacy.
Not only is an attorney needed to guide the family through the probate process, there are also a lot of legal procedures that occur throughout the process. The attorney has to file a multitude of motions and petitions. This can be a lengthy process. Depending on the size of the estate, probate can take anywhere from 6 months to two years. This is why it is so important to properly plan your estate.
At Stilley Law Office, we offer a full suite of probate administration services, but we do not handle probate litigation. What we do handle includes but is not limited to: Initial probate filings with the court upon a decedent’s death, estate inventories and accountings, small estate affidavits, opening formal estates, personal representative appointments, will filings, petitions for determination of heirship, and many other services. You can trust Stilley Law Office to keep your family’s best interests at the forefront of the process.