There are various types of succession proceedings that are utilized depending of the value of the estate, whether the succession is contested, complexity, and individual problems.
If the person who died did not leave a will and the net value of that estate is less than $ 75,000.00, a succession may be able to be completed by executing and recording a small succession affidavit. Generally, this small succession affidavit procedure is cheaper and faster if the assets and debts are easily determinable.
If the person who died left a will or the net value of that estate is more than $ 75,000.00, heirs or legatees may be able to placed directly into possession of assets without having to appoint an executor or administrator. It is necessary that the matter be uncontested, assets and debts are easily determined, and there is no preservation issues, immediate problems, business concerns or litigation pending. Although generally, it is more expensive than a small succession affidavit, it is also generally less expensive than an administration.
If there are contested matters, assets and debts are not easily determined, or there are preservation issues, immediate problems, business concerns or litigation pending, it may be necessary to appoint an executor (if named in a will) or an administrator, to preserve assets, pay debts, maintain property, manage a business, determine assets and debts, litigate claims or lawsuits, liquidate assets to pay debts, until the estate to ready to be placed into the possession of the heirs or legatees. Generally, this is more expensive than other types of succession. However, the expenses may be reduced if the decedent named an independent executor in a will or all of the heirs approve as to the appointment of an independent administrator. Depending on the size of the estate and applicable Federal inheritance tax limits, it may also be necessary to file applicable Federal inheritance tax returns on a large estate.
Every case has its own unique facts concerning assets, debts, problems and contested matters. It is necessary to consult with an attorney that specialized in successions to determine what succession procedure is best for you.
The area of succession practice involves specialized legal procedures and local rules which must be followed. Pleadings or documents prepared for a succession are unique as every case they represent. Pleadings and documents should be tailor made to address the specific assets, debts and needs of your individual succession. Not all attorneys have experience in handling divorces cases so it is important to retain an attorney that has experience in this specialized field of successions.
At our initial office conference, you will be interviewed by an attorney to obtain facts and details of your case.. An attorney will discuss and make recommendations regarding the above legal issues as well as give you an estimate on fees and costs. If you decide to retain our firm and our firm accepts your case, a retainer will be charged in advance of any work. The attorney will then bill you on an hourly basis from said retainer. Estimated court costs will be required to be paid in advance as well. Once retained, you will be given a questionnaire to complete to list all assets and debts of the estate of the decedent.