If you or someone you know is dealing with the probate process, you know how stressful it can be. In fact, studies have shown that 40% of people saw their mental health decline while dealing with administrative tasks associated with bereavement. In many cases, family members and friends of the deceased may be hurt, confused, and frustrated when an estate is divided. Besides this, probate court can be scary.
It’s very important to pay attention to your own mental health and that of those around you when a loved one dies and leaves behind an estate. Read on for some mental health tips for dealing with the probate process.
Probate can be a confusing, complicated process. Estates often include many assets that must be properly valued and distributed. Information for bank accounts, insurance policies, and other important things must be secured. These accounts must be properly closed, and all relevant parties must be notified. There are a lot of steps that need to be taken when properly dealing with an estate. If you need help, ask for it.
Communicate with friends, family, the decedent’s family, and your attorney. If you do not understand something, let people know. It is much better to communicate with those around you and allow them to help you than to try to handle everything on your own. This will also help you avoid errors and take some stress off of you. If you are starting to feel overwhelmed and anxious as a result of dealing with the probate process, your loved ones need to know. Anyone who entrusted their estate to you would not want to impact your mental health in a negative way, and they certainly would not want you to isolate yourself while managing it.
Strike a Balance
While divvying up assets and settling other aspects of an estate, you may start to feel overwhelmed. Estates can be extremely complicated. Dealing with all of the details can easily become extremely mentally taxing. It might seem impossible, but it is so important to try to strike a balance in your day-to-day life. If you find that you are spending a major amount of time dealing with the estate, try to restructure. Reach out to others to share the burden as much as they can. Let your attorney direct you.
And most importantly, don’t forget about taking time for joy and self-care. Allowing your personal rituals, routines, and hobbies to fall by the wayside will only make it more difficult for you to perform at your best as executor. Your judgement and energy levels will suffer. It is critical that you take care of your body and mind, not only so you can properly manage the estate, but also for yourself your own mental health. Remember that you have support, and if it ever becomes too much, you loved ones need to know.
Work With a Probate Lawyer
One of the best things you can do for your mental health while dealing with probate is partnering with an experienced attorney. Your attorney can take a significant amount of the stress and pressure off of your shoulders. They can ensure that all documents are filled out and filed correctly, check that you have included all necessary materials and obtained the right signatures, notified all critical inheritors and creditors, and much more.
It is so easy to overlook the details and forget to include a document here and there when it comes to this complicated process. Let your probate attorney deal with the minutia and give yourself more time to manage your grief.
If you have been tasked with managing an estate, you are dealing with a major responsibility. You are most likely grieving someone you loved while simultaneously worrying about honoring all of their wishes and making their friends and family happy. On top of that, you might suddenly be responsible for contacting a variety of creditors and settling debts. People you have never met may be trying to contact you or even challenge your right to act on behalf of the deceased.
All of these are extremely stressful things for any person to handle. That’s why it is so important to communicate with others and seek help when you need it. Talk to friends and family about how you are feeling. Find a trustworthy, compassionate probate attorney who has your best interest in mind. If you need to, seek the help of a psychiatrist who can help you understand what you are feeling and grieve in a healthy way.
Contact a Maryland Probate Attorney
If you are dealing with the probate process and need help from someone who knows what they’re doing, contact Blackford & Flohr. We have experience dealing with every element of probate, from estate planning to drafting wills to distributing assets. Call (410) 647-6677 today.