Probate, as daunting as it sounds, is really important to go through, especially if the family wants to sustain after the death the owner. As an executor or administrator, you have to the make sure the process is done properly to avoid litigation. Here are some mistakes that might push someone to consult a probate litigation attorney PG County.

Not Locating The Beneficiaries

There are a lot of times in a will when general terms like “siblings”, “friends” and “grandchildren” are used. The names aren’t specified and it can be really hard to locate all of the possible beneficiaries. However, it is up to you to track down all of the beneficiaries if you want the will terms to be followed.

Usually, a family member can help you out, but you need to get to the bottom of it quickly, because locating the beneficiaries is not a mean feat and it takes time.

Waiting Too Long

It’s not wise to wait for too long before getting a personal representative and having the probate process started. You need to get started with the probate process right away after a certain time has passed after the death of the testator.

The logical reason behind it is that as long as you start a probate process, there will be no additional taxes incurred, there won’t be any trespassing incidents and you’ll safeguard the property as well as the monetary value of the asset if you act on it timely. You’ll thank yourself for thinking ahead.

The Valuation Isn’t Accurate

The estimation of the assets is just as important as making an inventory of them. The laws are always changing and so are the numbers of the tax estimates, so you must find a will executor (if the testator hasn’t named anyone) who can estimate the value of the assets according to the present laws and percentage of taxes. It’s also important to figure out the taxes on the assets before the values are estimated. Sometimes, an executor can leave this part slip and that can lead to a lot of problems.

Mainly, it causes the devaluation of the assets, which means that once you go ahead and sell it, the price will be rock-bottom and you won’t get your asset’s worth. That can be very damaging to the beneficiaries.

Getting Probate And Non-Probate Assets Mixed Up

Probate and non-probate assets vary a lot. Probate assets are the assets that are originally in the name of the owner or testator and they will go through the probate process, to pass it down to the beneficiaries. Non-probate assets, on the other hand, are assets that are already in the name of the beneficiaries, and after the death of the owner, they will automatically be transferred to the beneficiaries without any involvement of probate.

This is important to differentiate because you don’t want to waste time on these things when it’s already cut out for you.

Using An Invalid Will

A will may sound like a ticket to the assets for someone who wants to take advantage of the situation, but it’s your job to hire an executor who can ascertain the validity of the will. A will is made properly, in which it is signed by the owner or testator and some witnesses have to sign the will.

Now, if someone comes forth with a will and says that it belongs to the testator, it’s up to the executor to ensure that the will presented is valid or not, otherwise, there can be dire consequences.

Using The Wrong Will

There can be times when the testator has several wills, in case they changed the first one over and over. This is normal, but you need to keep a record of the wills if you want the probate process to go smoothly. Having the original will also adds to the validity of the document and you must have a copy of it along with the amended wills.

The most recent one needs to be used for the probate process, but you’re still going to need the original one to help the executor track down the trail of validity.

Taking Advice From The Wrong People

It may be tempting to take legal advice from a friend or cousin who is a lawyer, but there are many types of lawyers and unless they are probate lawyers, you should avoid them. The probate process requires a qualified probate lawyer so make sure you to hire one.

Not Acting Quick

This mistake is also pretty common and if you let it slip, then the losses will be yours to bear, at the end of the day. As soon as the testator passes away, you need to ensure that you’re hiring a personal representative who can close all of the credit cards in the name of the owner and handle all of the financial things.

This will keep you and other beneficiaries in a safety net and no one will be able to take advantage of the situation. This is normal and highly recommended by estate planning and estate litigation lawyers Bowie.

Not Following The Terms Of The Will

This is also something that can happen more frequently. Even though a will is left behind and it’s valid, people still fail to follow the instructions on that crucial piece of document. Most people don’t even realize that a will is meant to streamline the process, not make things hard, but unnecessary meddling can lead to delays and unfavorable outcomes.

So, it’s best to properly follow the instructions in the will, otherwise you’ll only be delaying things by yourself. A will is made to give beneficiaries and the legal team instructions to bypass the lengthy court procedures, so take advantage of that.

Not Having An Asset Inventory

If the testator of the will had a lot of assets, then it can be understandably hard to get all of the assets in one place. However, you must do so. This is why it’s crucial involve the executor who will know how to track down all of the possible assets and make a single inventory of them.

Sometimes, the will can be used to track the assets or the testator’s spending track can help figure out where and what types of assets the person has. This will make the estimation process a whole lot easier and you, as the beneficiary, won’t have to lose anything either. It takes a bit of time to make a complete inventory, but it’s a good idea to make one and refer to it if you have any problems.

Premature Asset Division

Sometimes, acting very quickly can do more harm than good. For instance, if the assets are being divided among people before the estate is even applicable, can lead to a whole issue in itself. Many things need to be considered before assets can be divided. You need to think about the taxes that have to be paid before the assets can go for probate.

You also have to think of the debts and dues that have to be cleared, before the probate process can even commence. It’s not wise to jump straight into asset division.


The probate process sounds hard, but it’s pretty straightforward when you have the right direction and an experienced probate attorney Largo to guide you. Keep these things in mind and you’ll be good to go.

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