Probate attorneys, often known as estate attorneys, assist non-lawyer clients in carrying out their responsibilities as estate administrators, personal representatives, or executors. Moreover, they offer them as much or as little assistance as they require as they navigate the probate process. Therefore, paying out the deceased’s debts and distributing the estate’s assets in accordance with the deceased’s will or state law are both parts of the probate procedure.
The job of a Probate Lawyer
A probate lawyer has a broad range of abilities. Moreover, what the probate lawyer really accomplishes will depend on the needs of the executor or administrator, whether the decedent had a will, how complicated the estate is, whether there are legal challenges from beneficiaries or debtors, and any other issues with the estate’s assets.
What are the duties of a Probate Lawyer?
- The probate lawyer first submits the probate petition to name a personal representative.
- He also manages all other judicial requirements. Moreover, he might, for instance, present his case in a will fight to determine the executor. In addition to handling creditors’ claims, he notifies beneficiaries, heirs, creditors, and any parties entitled to notice of the probate.
- He prepares and submits a petition for final distribution once all the various administrative tasks have been finished. Moreover, the personal representative’s activities during his time of administration are detailed in this petition to the court. The personal representative’s possession of assets and funds is disclosed to the heirs in the final petition.
- Finally, the lawyer requests that the personal representative be given permission and instructions from the court to distribute the estate’s assets in accordance with the terms of the will.
- If the property is owned in another state, the probate attorney may work with the ancillary probate’s lawyer. There may also be non-probate difficulties that need legal assistance, such as seeking, receiving, or securing payment of life insurance and managing issues like annuity payments.
- A probate lawyer offers legal counsel.
- Executors and administrators frequently rely more on the local probate attorney and their staff when they are out of state. Some law firms focus on offering complete services specifically for this situation.
Some of the roles are:
- Locate, list, and secure the decedent’s estate, which may include their savings and checking accounts, their personal goods (also known as real property), their automobiles, their real estate, and more.
- Determine which life insurance plans to collect on.
- Obtain valuations for the estate of the deceased.
- The estate’s bank account.
- Establish a tax account or work with an internal account to complete the estate tax and final income tax returns for the deceased.
- Assess some debts for authenticity and provide advice on debt repayment.
- Prepare and submit the necessary paperwork to a probate court.
A fee of a Probate Lawyer?
There are three ways that probate attorneys can bill their clients:
- A service fee per hour
- A set cost
- A portion of the estate’s market worth
The lawyer’s qualifications, the market rate in the area where they work, and the nature of the legal issues they will be handling determine the actual cost.
Questions For Probate Lawyer
What are the questions you must ask a probate lawyer?
Some of the questions are:
- Are they experts in probate law? Inquire if they have experience with cases similar to yours.
- What services are available from them?
- Will the attorney handle your case directly?
- How does the attorney plan to bill you?
- What steps do you take in your particular case?
- How to know if you need a Probate Lawyer?
- It’s not always necessary to hire a probate lawyer. The probate court itself can be very helpful to executors and administrators. Before you hire an attorney, ask yourself:
- Have you handled the probate of an estate before?
- Can you distribute the estate without probate?
- Does your state have a relatively easy probate process?
- Will the family members’ names get along with each other?
- Is the money in the estate sufficient to pay its debts?
One generally does not require a probate lawyer. Executors and administrators can benefit much from the probate court itself. Before hiring an attorney, consider the following:
- Have you ever handled an estate’s probate?
- Can the estate be divided without going through probate?
- Does the probate procedure in your state tend to be straightforward?
- Will the aforementioned family members get along with one another?
- Is there enough money in the estate to cover its debts?
- If you answer yes to some or all of these, you may not need to hire a probate attorney immediately. However, should a problem arise later, you can always hire one then.