Nebraska Wills and Probate
Much as we might like to think that settling an estate is as easy as it appears in the movies and on TV—family members and friends gathered around as an attorney reads a will, detailing who inherits what, and the whole matter is over within minutes. In real life, things are not so simple. In reality, before an estate can be settled, a will must be proven valid, public notices published to alert potential creditors, debts settled, taxes filed and paid, disputes resolved, and everything tidily documented before property can pass to heirs in the form of inheritances. The process by which all of this happens is known as probate—and it can be tedious and time-consuming, adding layers of stress and frustration during a time when you are grieving the loss of a loved one. Even a single misstep can prove costly or cause a delay. Fortunately, with the help of a Nebraska wills and probate attorney, you can rest assured that your loved one's estate is in good hands.
What Services Do Nebraska Wills Lawyers Provide?
Attorneys who work with wills and probate in Nebraska are skilled in every aspect of estate planning and administration, including:
- Writing wills and codicils (changes to wills)
- Drafting advance medical directives
- Setting up trusts
- Inventorying and valuing assets
- Minimizing estate taxes
- Analyzing and interpreting wills
- Administering estates
- Litigation or alternative dispute resolution
- Guardianship and conservatorship
These are just some examples. When necessary, will lawyers also coordinate with other professionals, such as accountants, financial planners, real estate agents, and tax attorneys.
What Is Intestate Succession?
Ideally, the decedent, or deceased person, has outlined in a valid will his or her wishes about how to distribute assets. Unfortunately, many people die without a will or don't follow state laws that set out the requirements for making a valid will. In legal terms, this is called dying intestate, and the person’s assets are then governed by the rules of intestate succession. In the absence of a valid will, courts make assumptions about which individuals should be heirs, with a hierarchy usually beginning with the spouse and surviving children, then expanding to parents, siblings, and other family members. While this structure mirrors, at least somewhat, how many of us might prefer our assets to be divided upon death, family dynamics are not always so cut and dried. You may have reason for certain family members to be compensated more than others, or for some to be left out completely. In order to have total control over your assets after you die, you must leave a will. A Nebraska will lawyer can make sure yours is comprehensive and legally valid, giving you peace of mind for your family's future.
Contact a Nebraska Wills and Probate Lawyer Today
Whether you are you are just beginning to think about writing a will or facing a probate proceeding to settle someone else's estate, an attorney who practices in these areas can leverage specific knowledge and legal acumen to help move the process along as smoothly and efficiently as possible. Call now to speak with a wills and probate lawyer in Nebraska at 877-913-7222.