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You May Need an Attorney and Not Even Know It

People take legal matters into their own hands every day, and sometimes they lose money and property in the process. You can make a legally binding contract without using an attorney, but you are risking missing some big legal loopholes and laws you may not be familiar with that can not only make your contract invalid but can actually cost you in the end. When you are selling or purchasing real estate, tackling the creation of a will or even just loaning money to a friend, a consultation with an attorney can be a positive step. I'll show you when and why you need an attorney.



You May Need an Attorney and Not Even Know It

A Guide On The Work Of Probate Lawyers

by Barry Butler

When one dies, their estate gets disbursed per their directives or state laws. As such, the estate disbursement process depends on whether there is a will or not. Ordinarily, the will executor or beneficiaries may have to hire a probate lawyer to assist in the probate process. So, who is a probate lawyer, and why do you need one?

Who Is a Probate Lawyer?

Primarily, a probate lawyer is a state-licensed attorney who specializes in estate law. Typically, a probate lawyer helps the executors and beneficiaries of an estate settle the affairs of a deceased person's estate. However, a probate lawyer may be unnecessary when the estate property value is insignificant or the assets are placed in a trust. 

Probate Lawyer vs Estate Planning Lawyer

Both the probate lawyer and estate planning lawyer specializes in estate law. However, the key difference is usually their entry point in the process. Broadly, an estate planning lawyer works with living clients to determine how their estate will be administered. Thus, the estate planning lawyer will typically help establish trusts, wills, power of attorney, and even children guardianship. In comparison, a probate lawyer handles the legal issue arising after the death of an estate owner.

What Does a Probate Lawyer Do?

The role of a probate lawyer largely depends on the existence of a will. If the deceased person left a will, the probate lawyer comes in to advise the executors and beneficiaries. Typically, the attorney's support ensures that the will goes through probate without being challenged. Hence, the lawyer can help to verify the will is legit and duly executed. The lawyer helps to identify and reach out to the identified beneficiaries.

Equally, probate lawyers are also helpful when there is no will. Usually, a person who dies without a will is considered to have died interstate. Thus, intestacy laws apply in distributing the estate regardless of the deceased person's unwritten wishes. In such a case, the state laws determine how the estate is administered. Usually, the probate lawyer helps the court-determined estate administrator with the probate process.

Probate Lawyer Charges

The probate lawyer usually charges a fee for services rendered. There are three main pricing methods. Typically, clients may pay an hourly fee or a flat fee for all services offered. Alternatively, the lawyers can charge a pre-determined percentage of the estate value. Moreover, factors such as the attorneys' experience and reputation may influence pricing.

A probate lawyer helps estate executors and beneficiaries to navigate through the probate processes. Thus, if the estate in question is significant enough, a probate lawyer can assist in a fair and legal estate administration process. Reach out to a probate attorney to learn more.