When a person passes away, their assets must be disbursed in a manner consistent with state laws and following the directions they put forth when they were alive, as stated in their will. A probate lawyer guides the executor of will or beneficiaries of an estate through the probate process: From identifying estate assets and beneficiaries to distributing assets and inheritances.
What is a probate lawyer or probate attorney?
A probate lawyer is a state licensed attorney who works with the executors and the beneficiaries of an estate to settle the affairs of the decedent. In some instances, probate can be avoided if all the decedent’s assets have been placed in a trust. A trust can ensure a smooth transfer of property outside of court and legal proceedings.
Is a probate lawyer the same as an estate attorney?
A probate lawyer is also known as an estate attorney and will be involved in different ways depending on the particular circumstances of that estate. Their involvement will depend on the value of the decedent’s assets and whether or not they had a last will and testament at the time they passed away. In cases where no will exists, beneficiaries file claims and sue for what they believe they are entitled to. In situations where there is a will, challenges may arise as to the validity of the will, also leading to possible litigation.
What does a probate lawyer do?
Specifically, here are some of the common tasks a probate lawyer may assist an executor and beneficiaries with during the probate process:
Collecting proceeds from life insurance policies
Identifying and securing estate assets
Obtaining appraisals for the decedent’s real property
Assisting in the payment of bills and debts
Preparing and filing all documents required by a probate court
Determining if any estate or inheritance taxes are due, and making sure those debts are satisfied
Resolving income tax issues
Managing the estate checking account
Transferring assets in the decedent’s name to the appropriate beneficiaries
Making a final disbursement of assets to beneficiaries after all bills and taxes have been paid
Have questions about working with a probate lawyer?
We’re happy to answer your questions. Kendrick Law Group Lawyers helps people just like you everyday. So, contact us anytime.