What is a probate lawyer?
Probate lawyers are personal representatives or executors of estates who help non-lawyer clients fulfill their role as administrators, personal representatives, or executors. Probate lawyers can advise clients on estate planning and property management, handle court proceedings, and make funeral arrangements. In some cases, probate lawyers may also act as mediators between family members.
Difference Between a Good Probate and Good Estate Planning Lawyer?
A good probate attorney handles the process of any estate administration after a person dies. It is even possible for them to act as executors or administrators of estates. The main difference between a probate attorney and an estate planning lawyer is that the probate attorney focuses strictly on the probate process, while the estate planning lawyer can typically provide other legal services, such as wills, trusts, and estates.
What Does a Probate Lawyer Do?
Probate attorneys can provide a wide range of legal services to executors and administrators, depending on what they need. Probate attorneys can help with everything from gathering assets and preparing wills to handle court proceedings. The probate lawyer’s role will largely depend on the needs of the executor or administrator, so it is very essential to discuss your situation with one before making any decisions.
When There Is a Will:
If a person dies with a will completed, their probate lawyer will guide the administration of their estate. Probate attorneys are typically specialists in wills and estate law, so they can help make sure that the deceased person’s wishes are followed. They may also be involved in disputes over who is responsible for fulfilling the terms of the will. In some cases, probate lawyers may be asked to draft new wills or to make changes to existing ones.
When There Is No Will:
If someone dies intestate, their assets will be distributed according to the state’s inheritance laws. There are many variations in these laws from state to state, but typically, the deceased’s closest relatives will inherit first. If there is no valid written will, the law determines who inherits based on family relationships and other factors. Probate lawyers are critical in ensuring that all necessary paperwork is filed and that the deceased’s estate is properly settled.
Role of a Probate Lawyer?
The role of a probate lawyer can be quite varied depending on the specific needs of the estate. A probate lawyer may provide legal advice to the executor or administrator, or they may take on any one of a number of tasks related to the estate, such as preparing and filing paperwork, conducting interviews with witnesses, and handling court appearances.
Do You Need a Probate Lawyer?
In the event that you are the executor of an estate and are wondering whether or not you need a lawyer to handle the probate process, the answer is likely yes. Probate is a legal process that must be followed in order for an estate to be distributed to heirs. There are many small or big factors to consider when deciding if probate is necessary, but including whether or not states have relatively easy probate processes can be a key factor. Generally speaking, states with more detailed probate procedures require more involvement from lawyers, but there are exceptions. If you are comfortable managing the probate process without assistance from a lawyer, that may not be your best option.
How Much Do A Good Probate Lawyers Charge?
Probate lawyers use one of (3) three methods to charge their clients for their services:
An a hourly rate, A flat fee, or A percentage of the estate’s value. Lawyers charge hourly rates based on their experience and area of expertise but generally range from $50 to $300 per hour. Flat fees are set at a certain amount, regardless of how long the probate process takes. Percentage-of-estate values depend on the county in which the estate is located and can run from 10% to 50%.