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Probate & Estate Administration Lawyer in Brandon, MS

We Provide Probate & Estate Administration Services in Brandon and Throughout Rankin County

At Hancock Law Firm, PLLC, our Brandon probate & estate administration lawyers are focused on providing solutions-based legal advice to people and families in Mississippi. Probate and estate administration are complicated matters—we are here to help you navigate the system, ensuring that your rights are protected every step of the way. To set up a strictly private initial consultation with a skilled Mississippi probate law attorney, please call us now or connect with us directly online. 

What is Probate in Mississippi?

In Mississippi, probate is a legal process during which a person’s estate is settled. Generally, probate is a county-by-county matter in Mississippi—meaning the Rankin County Chancery Court is responsible for administering probate cases arising out of Brandon. During probate, a person’s will is confirmed as valid. Alternatively, if there is no will, then that fact will be confirmed. The following things also typically occur during probate in Brandon, MS: 

  • A person’s property and assets are identified and collected; 
  • Tax, debts, and other outstanding liabilities are settled;
  • The proper beneficiaries are determined; and
  • Property is distributed to the rightful heirs.

Ideally, probate will be a smooth, conflict-free process. Unfortunately, that is not always how it works. Probate disputes can arise for a wide variety of different reasons—from disagreements with creditors to disputes over the implications of the will. You should always be proactive in a probate dispute. An experienced Brandon, MS attorney will protect your rights. 

Note: Probate is still required even if there is no will. Every adult in Mississippi should have a valid will in place. The failure to draft a will does not prevent an estate from going through probate. 

Not All Assets are Subject to Probate

Broadly speaking, property can be divided into two categories: A probate asset and a non-probate asset. A probate asset is anything that is subject to the probate process in Mississippi. Most types of property—from the proceeds in a checking account to a motor vehicle—are generally considered to be a probate asset.

However, there are some exceptions. Property can avoid the probate process in Mississippi if it is placed into a legally valid trust. If you set up a trust with an estate planning lawyer, the property within that trust passes directly to the selected beneficiary, outside of the probate process. In addition, some assets that allow for a designated beneficiary—such as a 401(k) retirement account—can pass outside of the probate process assuming the beneficiary destinations are updated. 

Know the Small Estate Exception to Probate

Probate can be a cumbersome and time-consuming process. Mississippi has a specialized law in place for small estates. Under MS Code § 91-7-322, the rightful beneficiary of an estate can use a legal document called a “small estate affidavit” to claim property and assets if the total value of the estate is less than $50,000. For larger estates, probate is always required—regardless of who the beneficiaries are and whether or not there is a valid will. A small estate affidavit can be a useful alternative to probate in certain cases. Though, this document can be complicated. It is still useful to consult with a Brandon, MS estate administration attorney when filling out a small estate affidavit. 

We Provide Comprehensive Probate & Estate Administration Services in Brandon, MS

Probate & estate administration are deeply complex. If you are confused about the next steps in the process, you are far from alone. At Hancock Law Firm, PLLC, we help guide people through the system—ensuring that their rights and best interests are protected every step of the way. Among other things, our Brandon probate & estate administration lawyers are prepared to: 

  • Answer questions and explain Mississippi law during a confidential consultation; 
  • Gather all off the documents and records that you need to proceed; 
  • Handle all of the probate and estate administration paperwork; and
  • Take legal action to help you and your family achieve the best outcome.

Call Our Brandon Probate & Estate Administration Lawyers for Immediate Help

At Hancock Law Firm, PLLC, our Brandon, MS probate & estate administration attorneys have the professional skills that you can trust for top-quality representation. If you have any specific questions about probate law or estate administration in general, we can help you find the answers. Call us now or connect with us online for a strictly private review of your legal case. We serve communities throughout Rankin County, including Brandon, Jackson, Flowood, Richland, and Pearl.