How does probate law work?
Probate is the court-supervised process of authenticating a last will and testament if the deceased made one. It includes locating and determining the value of the person’s assets, paying their final bills and taxes, and distributing the remainder of the estate to their rightful beneficiaries.
What to ask when hiring a probate attorney?
Some attorneys know immigration very well, others are proficient with criminal law, yet others primarily focus on real estate closings. When hiring a probate attorney, ask them (or look at their website) about other areas of law they practice.
Can a probate lawyer help an executor of an estate?
For cases like these, you can hire a probate lawyer to help the administrator of the estate (which is kind of like the executor of will) through the process. They may still be able to perform all the same jobs, but they may be limited by the intestacy laws.
Which is the most important question to ask an estate attorney?
This is probably the most important question. This question allows you to understand whether you are speaking with an attorney experienced in estates. It also allows you to hear the attorney’s experience in similar matters.
How can I get help with my probate case?
Learn about finding a probate lawyer. There are essentially two ways to get help from a lawyer when you’re an executor: You can turn a probate case over a lawyer, or you can take on primary responsibility for handling the probate yourself and consult a lawyer only when you have questions or need limited help.
Can a lawyer help you with a probate case?
If you’re willing to take primary responsibility for handling the probate yourself, you may find a lawyer who is open to giving you limited legal help (sometimes called “unbundled services”) instead of handling all aspects of the probate case. For example, you might hire a lawyer just to answer specific questions during the probate process.
Do you have to ask questions when hiring a probate attorney?
Hiring a local probate attorney is no guarantee of expertise with the court where your case will be heard. If you want to gauge their specific expertise, you will need to ask this critical question.
Can a probate attorney represent the executor of an estate?
If you are the Executor hiring the attorney, ask what the law is. If you are an heir of the estate, the lawyer should give you some guidance. If the probate estate is in one of the majority states, the first letter from the attorney should start with a sentence that reads, “I have been retained by Mr. Smith, Executor of the Estate of Ms. Smith.
Do you need a lawyer to take care of an estate?
If want a lawyer to take responsibility for shepherding the estate through probate, you can still do some work yourself. Especially if you’re paying by the hour, pitching in can help keep costs down.