Do You Need a Probate Attorney?

When a loved one passes away, the estate administration process can be complex. A probate attorney is a legal professional who helps oversee this process and settle the deceased person’s affairs. While many people choose to go through the process without a probate attorney, there are some situations in which it is helpful to have one.

The question is not always whether or not you need a probate attorney, but rather which type of lawyer is best suited to your situation. Whether you need full representation or just a little help, it’s important to ask the right questions so that there are no (costly) surprises down the road.

Do you want a probate attorney who will take over all aspects of the case? Or do you prefer one who will only be available to answer your questions and provide guidance while you handle the paperwork and distribution of assets yourself? This is something that you will need to discuss with each potential candidate and come to an agreement about before hiring them.

How long do you anticipate the process taking? This is a crucial question to ask because if a probate case takes longer than expected, you will be paying the lawyer for more hours. Some attorneys charge a flat fee for their services, while others request a percentage of the gross value of the estate (not the net value, which takes into account debts like mortgages on property). Make sure that you know exactly what you’re getting in return for your money and how it will be charged before you hire a probate attorney.

Do you have experience with probate litigation?

A probate litigation attorney is an attorney who specializes in handling lawsuits regarding a deceased person’s estate. This may include will contests, disputes between beneficiaries, or claims of undue influence. It’s important to have an experienced probate litigation attorney, such as Thomas Upchurch, on your side when dealing with these types of issues because they can fight for your rights and ensure that you get what you’re entitled to.

If you have any questions about a specific legal matter, please contact LegalZoom to speak with an attorney for free. You can also sign up for the personal legal plan to receive unlimited 30-minute phone consultations with an attorney on new legal matters for a low monthly fee. The information on this site is general in nature and should not be construed as legal advice for any individual case. LegalZoom does not represent you or the deceased in any matter. LegalZoom’s attorneys are licensed to practice law in their respective states. We do not endorse any particular attorney or law firm. If you have questions about your legal needs, we recommend that you seek the advice of a qualified attorney in your state. LegalZoom is not a substitute for a lawyer or a law firm. We cannot guarantee that any of our services will result in a successful outcome or be appropriate for your particular legal needs.

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