What Does a Probate Lawyer Do?

A probate lawyer is a person who helps the estate settle its affairs after a loved one’s death. They are able to help with many different aspects of the process, including inventorying assets and paying debts. They also manage checking accounts and life insurance policies.


They can also help with legal issues relating to the estate, such as disputes from beneficiaries or creditors. They often work on an hourly basis. Visit www.probateattorneys.la to learn more.

A probate attorney is a lawyer that helps the personal administrator of an estate during the probate process. This is a person who will file the will with the court, manage and collect the assets of the estate, pay debts, funeral expenses, taxes, and then distribute the remaining assets to heirs. This can be a complex and overwhelming task, especially for someone who hasn’t dealt with this type of situation before. A probate attorney can help them avoid mistakes and ensure the estate is distributed correctly.

Another benefit of hiring a probate attorney is that they can handle contested matters. There are many issues that can arise during the probate process, including challenges to the validity of a will, or disputes between heirs over who gets what. A probate attorney can help the personal administrator deal with these problems and represent them in court if necessary.

A good probate lawyer can save the personal administrator time and money by handling complicated legal issues that may come up during the estate administration. For example, if the estate has a lot of debt, a probate attorney can help them understand how to prioritize those debts. This is important because if a creditor is not paid, they could sue the personal representative. A probate lawyer can also help the personal administrator reduce expenses by negotiating with creditors to lower their claims or to agree to an installment plan.

Whether or not to hire a probate lawyer depends on several factors, such as how comfortable the personal administrator is with the probate process, how complicated local laws are, and how big or extensive the estate is. It is also important to consider the fee structure. Will the lawyer charge a flat rate, a percentage of the estate value, or hourly? It is important to have a clear understanding of these fees so you can make an informed decision about whether or not to hire the attorney.

In addition to assisting with probate proceedings, probate lawyers can also provide assistance with estate planning and trust administration. This is important because they can help the personal administrator or beneficiaries to know when probate is required and when it isn’t.

They represent the estate in court

If you have recently lost a loved one, you may need a probate lawyer to help you settle the estate. These lawyers can handle all the legal issues that come up, from filing legal documents to distributing assets to heirs and beneficiaries. They can also advise you on how to avoid legal pitfalls and protect your family’s interests. A good lawyer will be able to explain the process of estate administration and make sure that you follow all the rules.

If the deceased individual did not leave a will, the probate attorney will file a petition with the Surrogates Court to become the administrator of the estate. This person will oversee the dispersal of property and appoint guardians for minors and conservators for incapacitated adults. The lawyer will also determine if any inheritance or estate taxes are due and pay them. He or she will also manage the estate’s checking account and collect proceeds from life insurance policies.

Probate attorneys are also often needed in cases where there is a dispute about the will or trust of the deceased. For example, if a beneficiary believes the will was invalid because it was signed under duress or incompetence, a probate attorney can file a contest against the will.

In addition, a probate attorney can represent the estate in litigation against parties who are trying to take advantage of the deceased. For example, if the estate is owed money by creditors or a family member, the attorney can defend the estate in court.

To become a probate lawyer, you need to have excellent verbal and written communication skills. Probate attorneys are often responsible for interacting with heirs, executors, and beneficiaries, so they must be able to clearly explain complex legal concepts in simple terms. They also need to be able to communicate effectively with clients and other professionals, such as financial managers and insurance specialists.

If you decide to hire a probate lawyer, it is best to choose one who exclusively handles probate cases. This will ensure that your case is handled quickly and efficiently. In addition, it will be helpful if you can find a probate attorney who is familiar with the judges in your area.

They help pay debts

One of the biggest reasons for probate is to settle a deceased person’s estate and pay their debts. This can be a complex process, and it is important to hire an experienced attorney. A probate lawyer will help you understand the process and help you make informed decisions. They can also help you avoid common mistakes that could be costly.

A good probate attorney will have excellent communication skills. They will need to interact with clients, executors and beneficiaries, as well as financial managers and insurance specialists. They will also need to be able to explain complex issues in simple terms. A good probate attorney will also be a member of a professional association, which will keep them up to date on changes in the law.

The first payments from the estate are typically for legal fees and expenses, such as an attorney helping to sort out estate rules, an accountant reaching a valuation of estate assets, or an appraiser determining what the assets are worth. Burial and funeral costs, and a family allowance (which is a small amount that helps the family during the probate process) are also generally paid first.

When settling an estate, it’s important to pay all outstanding debts. A probate lawyer will be able to help you identify any debts that need to be paid, and will ensure that all tax obligations are settled. If your loved one had a lot of debt before their death, it’s important to take care of it quickly.

It’s important to consult with a probate lawyer before selling any property in the estate. This way, you can be sure that you’re doing it legally. Selling property during the probate process can be tricky, but it’s sometimes necessary in order to settle debts and distribute the estate.

Probate lawyers can be expensive, but they can save you a lot of time and money in the long run. Many probate attorneys offer different tiers of service, which can help you keep your costs down. In addition, they can help you understand how much a particular task is going to cost before you sign up for it.

They help disperse the estate

After a loved one passes away, estate assets must be distributed to the beneficiaries of the estate. This happens according to the stipulations of the will or in accordance with state law. A probate lawyer can help with this process by locating and assessing the estate’s assets, filing final income and estate tax returns, paying bills, and distributing the assets to heirs.

Probate lawyers also serve as a mediator between creditors, heirs, and the personal administrator. They can handle conflicts that arise in a timely manner and prevent duplicate work and unnecessary expenses. If a conflict cannot be resolved, they will advocate on behalf of the estate in court. This can be a huge relief for the executor of the estate, who might feel overwhelmed by the amount of red tape and work involved in closing out the estate.

Some probate lawyers charge a flat fee, while others request a percentage of the estate’s gross value. These fees can appear unreasonable to some, especially for estates with larger values. They can also vary depending on the complexity of the legal matter and the length of time required to complete the probate process.

One of the most important duties of a probate lawyer is to ensure that the estate’s assets are distributed fairly to heirs and creditors. This is done by examining the will’s witnesses to determine whether they signed it under oath and that the testator had mental capacity. The lawyer may also examine the will’s documents to make sure they are valid.

In addition to distributing the estate’s assets, probate lawyers can also assist with the sale or transfer of businesses and real estate. This can be a complex task and may require the help of a real estate attorney. They can also provide a valuation of the business to determine the fair market value, which is essential for closing the business and selling or transferring ownership. They can also assist with obtaining copies of the decedent’s bank accounts and records, as well as identifying and collecting any debts owed by the deceased.