If your loved one has died and left a small estate behind, it is important to talk with a Burlington probate attorney. The probate process is necessary after many deaths, but the specific steps which will need to be taken in order to wind up the deceased person’s affairs and to facilitate asset transfer will depend upon many different factors. The size of the estate is one important consideration, as is whether any estate planning or probate avoidance steps were taken before death.
While you may not think calling a lawyer is necessary for a small estate, there are many important services that a Burlington probate attorney can provide. Unsworth LaPlante, PLLC works hard to help make sure that a deceased person’s wishes are followed after his or her death and to help make sure that heirs receive the full inheritance that they deserve. Give us a call today to find out more about how we help with estates of all sizes.
Why You Need a Burlington Probate Attorney Even for Small Estates
The Vermont probate court provides instructions on the probate process. The process can be complicated, and there are many formal legal steps that have to be taken. This is true even for small estates, which are valued at $10,000 or less. For example, if you hope to use the small estate’s procedure:
- A small estate petition has to be filed with the court
- A regular estate inventory has to be filed.
- One or more competent appraisers, or a disinterested party appointed by the court, has to provide information on the true cash value of estate assets.
- A small estate principal bond must be obtained in the amount of $300, conditioned upon paying funeral expenses within a year, unless the court sets a higher bond.
- The will and a death certificate have to be submitted to the court. If there is a will, a copy of the will has to be sent to all interested parties by first class mail. If any interested parties are not able to be located, then notice by publication may be required.
- An entry fee has to be paid to the court.
If the estate is valued at less than $10,000, the court has discretion whether to allow you to use the small estate procedure or not. There are also limits on who qualifies based on beneficiaries and the contents of the estate. For example, the beneficiaries must be only a surviving spouse and/or children of any age; no one other than a spouse or kids can inherit. The estate also has to consist of personal property only, not real estate that would require probate in order to pass title.
Even if you meet these requirements, the probate judge may review the documents and decide to impose additional requirements. Obviously, taking all of these steps can be very complicated- and they are necessary even before the actual estate administration process starts. There are additional steps to take during that process, and yet more legal obligations if you end up having to go through a full probate proceedings instead of the small estate process.
What a Burlington Probate Attorney Can Do For You
A Burlington probate attorney takes care of all of the legal processes for you, whether you have a small estate or a large one. Your attorney can help you to understand what procedures will need to be followed in order for estate assets to transfer. Your lawyer can also help you to file all of the needed paperwork with the court; get in contact with the right appraisers and experts; make a convincing argument for the small estate procedure; and do everything else necessary to wind up the affairs of the deceased and get answers transferred to new owners in a timely manner.
Contact a Burlington Probate Attorney
Whatever the size of the estate that was left behind, your deceased loved one deserves to have his wishes respected. Beneficiaries and heirs also deserve to have their rights protected so they can receive money and property which was left for them. Unsworth LaPlante, PLLC can help.
Our experienced legal team has provided representation to clients in dealing with estates of all different sizes, and we treat every client and case with the importance that is deserved, regardless of the size of the estate. To find out more about how a Burlington probate attorney can help you after someone that you love has passed away, give us a call at (802) 879-7133 or contact us online today to speak with a member of our legal team.