As the old saying goes, “you can’t take it with you when you die.” If a loved one passes away and leaves behind a will or trust, an experienced probate attorney should be retained to help settle their estate. A probate lawyer can assist the executor of the estate in gathering and preserving assets, paying estate taxes, distributing property to beneficiaries and providing an accurate accounting of the proceedings to the court.

Working with a Probate Attorney: What to Expect During the Process

A probate attorney can also assist in the case of a contested will, disputes over the interpretation of the will or the choice of the administrator or executor. They can handle these complicated issues and provide unique solutions to the problems that might arise during the process.

The decision to retain a probate attorney depends on a variety of factors, including how comfortable you are navigating probate, how complicated your state laws are and how big or extensive the estate is. It can also be helpful to know if your attorney charges an hourly rate, a flat fee or a percentage of the estate value.

Probate is a complicated, time-consuming process that should not be taken lightly. Generally, it is best to hire an attorney with experience in probate, especially if the estate is large or complex. The right lawyer will help to ensure that all legal obligations are met and will provide support along the way. A probate attorney can assist in minimizing the opportunity for fraud, ensuring that all debts and taxes are paid and that a proper accounting is provided to the beneficiaries of the estate.