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What Is A Probate Lawyer, What They Do and Do You Need Them?

by Lily Morgen
1.3K views 4 minutes read
Probate Lawyer

A probate lawyer is a state-licensed attorney who assists the beneficiaries and executors of an estate in settling the decedent’s affairs. If all of the decedent’s assets were placed in a trust, there may be no need for the probate lawyer’s services.

What Does a Probate Lawyer Do?

There are a variety of responsibilities that the probate will need to finish. These including:

  • Identifying and securing estate assets
  • Inventorying and appraising estate assets
  • Paying estate debts, taxes, and expenses
  • Distributing estate assets to beneficiaries
  • File the will with the local court
  • Help the executor obtain a tax identification number
  • open a bank account for the estate and inventory all of the decedent’s assets
  • Be responsible for filing any necessary paperwork and appearing in court on behalf of the estate.

Do I Need a Probate Lawyer?

The executor is not required to have a probate lawyer. However, the process can be complicated according to your specific case, and a probate lawyer can be helpful in ensuring that the process goes smoothly. When you make the decision  whether or hire the services of a probate attorney, you should think about factors like:

  • How complex the estate is
  • The size of the estate
  • The executor’s relationship with the beneficiaries
  • Whether there is any conflict among the beneficiaries
  • Whether you feel comfortable handling the responsibilities of being an executor

How Much Does a Probate Lawyer Cost?

Probate lawyers typically charge by the hour, with rates ranging from $100 to $300 per hour. In some cases, the lawyer may charge a flat fee for specific services. For example, the probate lawyer may charge a flat fee for reviewing and filing the will.

When Should I Hire a Probate Lawyer?

It is generally advisable to hire a probate lawyer as soon as possible after the death of a loved one. This will ensure that the lawyer is available to answer any questions that you may have and to help you through the process.

Questions to Ask a Probate Attorney

Before hiring a probate lawyer, you should schedule a consultation to ask about the lawyer’s experience, fees, and suggestions about your case. During the consultation, be sure to ask the following questions:

  • How long have you been performing estate planning or practicing probate law?
  • How many probate cases have you handled?
  • Have you previously dealt with cases like mine?
  • What are your hourly rates?
  • Do you charge a flat fee for specific services?
  • Do you practice any other areas of law?
  • How long do you anticipate it will take to resolve the estate in my case?

Final Thought

A probate lawyer can be a valuable asset during the probate process. The lawyer can help to ensure that the process goes smoothly and that all of the necessary paperwork is filed correctly. If you are considering hiring a probate lawyer, be sure to ask about the lawyer’s experience, fees, suggestion,s and other details about your case.

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