Probate lawyers play an essential role in the estate planning process. Whether you’re a beneficiary contesting a will or a recently assigned executor, there are several reasons to hire a probate lawyer.
While many people want to reduce the costs associated with probate, hiring a reliable probate attorney can save you time and money. However, there are several things to keep in mind before you choose a probate lawyer. Let’s explore the basics of probate law and take a look at what probate lawyers do.
What Are the Functions of a Probate Lawyer?
Completing the probate process after someone dies comes with a great deal of legal work. Whether gathering legal documents or finalizing asset distribution, there are several reasons you should hire a probate attorney.
A probate lawyer is typically hired to perform specific tasks regarding a probate case. Probate attorneys have the knowledge and expertise to assist both beneficiaries and executors during the probate process. They ensure that assets are distributed effectively, and all parties involved follow the direction of the deceased’s trust or will.
In some cases, individuals will hire a probate attorney during the estate planning process as well.
The essential functions of probate lawyers include:
- Assisting with collecting and distributing assets from insurance policies
- Identifying, securing, and distributing estate assets
- Assisting with identifying and obtaining real estate property
- Identifying and paying bills and debts
- Preparing and filing legal documents with the probate court
- Assisting and navigating estate taxes during the probate process
- Resolving issues with estate taxes and other probate fees
- Identifying, distributing, and managing estate assets
- Assisting beneficiaries with the allocation of assets
- Representing different parties during the contest a will
- Resolving income tax issues
- Managing the estate checking account
- Making the final distribution of assets after bills and taxes are paid
While these are the essential functions of a probate attorney, they may be required to perform additional duties based on the needs of their clients.
Are Probate Lawyers the Same As Estate Attorneys?
Estate attorney is another name for a probate lawyer. Both are involved with the probate process in different ways depending on the requests of their clients and the circumstances of the estate involved. The role of a probate attorney depends on the value of the deceased’s assets and whether or not there was a last will and testament available at the time of death.
When no will exists, an estate attorney may be hired by a beneficiary to help file claims for what they believe they are entitled to. When situations arise where a will is challenged or contested, probate lawyers can also be involved in possible litigation on behalf of their clients.
When Do You Need a Probate Lawyer?
While most people don’t think they need a probate lawyer, it’s always a good idea to have one available if you are involved with the probate process.
The most common reasons people hire a probate attorney include:
- Complicated estates
- Estates that involve family members who don’t get along
- Estates, where the money involved isn’t sufficient enough to cover outstanding debts
- Estates involving a significant amount of real estate property
If you need a reliable Diamond Bar estate planning attorney, Ensberg Law Group is here to help. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation with one of our trusted attorneys.