You’ve lost a loved one – now do you need a lawyer or not?

by | Mar 8, 2010 | Death of a Loved One, Probate

Do you need a lawyer to help you after you’ve lost a loved one?  Well, it depends.  Do you know what needs to be done?  Are you having any problems transferring assets?

If everything is in joint tenancy – meaning the survivor becomes the owner if the first spouse dies – then you probably do not need a lawyer.  Just take the death certificate to the banks or other financial institutions and they will change the account to show only one owner.

Were there assets owned solely in the name of the deceased?  If so, you will be faced with the legal task of transferring them.  Depending on the situation, that transfer will require, at the least, a small estate affidavit, or possibly a court probate to name an executor and oversee the transfer or the asset and the distributions to the heirs.

Still not sure if you need to hire an attorney? Check out our post “Losing a Loved One: Why Hire an Attorney? 5 Reasons” and as always, feel free to give us a call at (217) 726-9200.