What Are Probate Lawyers?

Posted on: 11 May 2021

Probate is usually a lengthy legal process that takes place after someone has passed away. Probate involves proving that the will that was created by the deceased is real and was made while the deceased was in a stable mindset. Properties and assets of the deceased's will need to be accounted for and appraised. There are taxes involved in this process, but these can usually be paid by the estate. Probate lawyers are a great resource to use when in probate, especially if you've never gone through the process before. 

What Is a Probate Lawyer?

A probate lawyer is the type of lawyer that will help whoever the deceased named as the executor of the will through the probate process. The probate attorney would be licensed to the state they are practicing in and would be an expert in all probate-related laws. 

What Does a Probate Lawyer Do?

A probate lawyer is in charge of a lot of tasks. You may think of a lawyer solely as someone who represents you in court, and while that may be true, they also handle so many other things. 

For example, probate lawyers also assist with the following:

  • Securing all debts and assets
  • Collecting life insurance money
  • Paying any estate taxes due
  • Getting properties appraised
  • Court paperwork
  • Transferring properties to the beneficiaries

Do You Need to Hire a Probate Lawyer?

Hiring a probate lawyer is completely your choice. There is nothing that says you have to hire one, however, if you're navigating through uncharted territory, it's always a good idea to have someone by your side whose done this before. 

It is suggested to hire a probate lawyer if the estate being passed on is on the larger side. Also, if the deceased did not get around to getting a will made up before they passed, a probate lawyer will know the process on how to get everything split up the way it legally should be. 

How Much Does It Cost to Hire a Probate Lawyer?

There are a few different ways a probate lawyer can charge you. Some will charge you an up-front, flat rate, while others will charge hourly. There will be some lawyers that will charge a certain percentage of the estate's value for their services. 

The total cost will vary widely depending on which state you live in and their laws. It is highly recommended to have a fee agreement made up to prevent the lawyer from charging you for extra or hidden things. Remember to keep in mind, the estate money pays the lawyer fees; you shouldn't have to front any of the cost. 

To get started or to learn more, contact a local probate lawyer.