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What Does a Probate Attorney Do?

January 15, 2022
Estate planning is a very important process that each person should invest in. Unfortunately, some people don’t bother having an estate plan in place. According to The Wealth Advisor, 49% of individuals in the United States don’t believe their belongings are worth enough to worry about estate planning. If it so happens that someone passes away without a will, their estate goes into probate. This is where a probate attorney will step in. So what’s a probate attorney and what do they do? Here’s what you need to know.

What’s a Probate Lawyer?

A probate attorney helps their clients carry out their roles as personal representatives and administrators. They assist with various tasks that are part of the probate process. Probate lawyers are different from estate planning lawyers. They handle the estate administration process after an individual dies. On the other hand, an estate planning lawyer works with clients to come up with trusts and wills before death. However, in some instances, a probate attorney can also provide the services of an estate planning lawyer as well.

The Probate Process When a Will is Present

If the deceased individual has a valid will, a probate attorney will guide the administrator through the probate process according to exactly what the will says. In such instances, the probate attorney’s role will just be consultative. The probate lawyer can also represent a party in probate litigation. This occurs in cases where there is a challenge to the will. An example would be if someone wants to contest not being included in the will.

The Probate Process When There Isn’t Any Will

If there is no valid will to reference, a deceased person is said to have died intestate. If this happens, the decisions pertaining to who will inherit what are made by the state according to inheritance law. For example, a surviving spouse may receive half of the deceased person’s property. In these cases, the probate lawyer can be hired to distribute property according to intestacy laws.

What Are the Responsibilities of a Probate Lawyer?

You can hire a probate lawyer if you need advice or help with managing an estate. For instance, when an administrator or executor lives out of state, they can rely on the services of a probate attorney. There are several firms that focus on providing service packages just for these out-of-state circumstances. The tasks they can carry out on behalf of the administrator include finding, doing inventory, and securing an estate. This includes vehicles, real estate, bank accounts, and personal possessions. They can also identify life insurance policies and collect them. Apart from that, probate attorneys can also manage the estate checkbook, secure appraisals for assets, and file the deceased person’s taxes. These are just some of the many duties of a probate attorney. Apart from these tasks, it’s also their duty to prepare and file the different documents that are required by a probate court. Are you in need of a great probate attorney? Get in touch with Twin Falls Estate Planning, PLLC today. We would love to hear from you and help you through the probate process.
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