What to do When a Loved One Dies With or Without a Will

A paper with the text Last Will and Testament, with a pen on top

When a loved one passes away, besides dealing with the grief, there is a long list of things to do, decisions to be made, and tasks to complete. Wills are meant to help loved ones in making some of the decisions. Do you need an probate or estate planning lawyer in the Santa Clarita Valley or Los Angeles area? Kennedy Law Group, P.C. understands probate and estate planning and can help you through this difficult time. Without a will, managing the estate of the deceased is much more complicated.

Usually, a will helps to sort things out after a loved one dies, but if there is no will then the family has to figure it all out. Suddenly they are faced with bills, debts, paperwork and taxes for the deceased. On top of that, they have a funeral to plan, relatives and friends to contact, as well as banks and insurance companies. This is where a skilled estate planning lawyer in Santa Clarita Valley can help.

When A Loved One Dies with a Will
If there is a Will involved, the court will review it in its entirety, and its written wishes will be followed if it is found to be valid. An executor will be appointed as specified in the Will, who will oversee the probate process to ensure correct administration and that the assets are distributed to the beneficiaries correctly.

If A Loved One Dies Without a Will
If someone dies without a will, then the laws of the state will designate how to divide things up. This means that if your loved one dies without a will, their assets and/or property may not be divided up according to their wishes but as required by state law.

What Happens if the Will is Missing?
If the original will cannot be found, then it is important to contact an attorney right away to make sure that the rights of the heirs are protected. Depending on the circumstance, a copy of the will may be accepted by the probate court, but there will need to be evidence that the copy is legitimate, and that it is a copy of the most recent version of the will.

How an Attorney Can Help
If you need a probate or estate planning attorney in Santa Clarita CA, or the Los Angeles area, the attorneys at Kennedy Law Group, P.C. understand the sensitive nature of these matters and are available to assist you. They provide the compassion, dedication, and personal attention needed to help their clients sort things out after a loved one passes. Call our office today at (888) 392-8880, or (818) 394-6585 to find out more.