Reidsville, NC asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Virginia

Q: Family member in Alexandria VA. Not sure if he will survive. Don't know if has a will. need advice

Do I need to hire attorney to represent our family and handle the estate? If he passes away we do not know anything about life insurance or burial insurance but we will have to pay the bill for the funeral because we do not know any thing about his finances etc.

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1 Lawyer Answer
Ross Cameron Hart
Ross Cameron Hart
  • Estate Planning Lawyer
  • Salem, VA
  • Licensed in Virginia

A: I am sorry for your situation.

I always recommend consulting an attorney for an estate - depending on the estate we can save the family money and keep them from making mistakes in handling the estate. Consult a probate lawyer.

There's usually no hurry when someone passes away - handling the legal stuff can wait a week or two after death. Gather as much information as possible as to real estate and financial accounts (and whether someone is named as a beneficiary or co-owner of an account), investment accounts, and any significant personal property. Also get an idea of what they owe - particularly if it is a mortgage on the real estate or loan on a car. If there's a will, that's needed of course (But DO NOT make any marks or writing on the will as that could void it)

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