What is a probate attorney? A probate attorney is an authorized legal representative who represents people who died before their time of death. The term “probate” actually means that a person died before the estate was settled, in a state other than their domicile. In many states, this is required under the law as part of the estate plan. An executor or administrator performs this task. Many people choose to appoint an executor or administrator, but it’s still best to hire a probate attorney for a few reasons.
The main reason for appointing an attorney is so they can manage the probate process, which involves dividing your deceased loved ones’ assets into the various bank accounts based on the state of residence, if different. This ensures that everyone gets their fair share of assets, avoiding a situation where a beneficiary receives less than they should because of a delay in the distribution of assets. A probate attorney can fill out and file paperwork with the court, keeping track of important deadlines, and attend trials and other proceedings to counsel people who are involved in the process.
Probate also encompasses the process of settling debts. If someone dies without having had their debts paid off, their estate will not be distributed properly. A probate attorney can help oversee the distribution of estate property, such as real estate and bank accounts, in order to ensure that all debts are paid off. It can also be used to settle debts between relatives. Settling a child’s college debts or other debts can also be handled by an attorney.
When a person dies without having had the proper estate planning, the probate attorney represents people who are adversely affected by that death. This includes the spouse of a deceased person and their children. In addition, it can also include parents who have died, uncles and aunts who aren’t related to the decedent, and anyone else who might need representation in the probate administration process. The attorney can advise the family on making sure their needs are met and on how to proceed after the decedent has passed.
Smith said that the vast majority of people in the US don’t know about their options if they’re going through the probate administration process. People who do know about their rights and obligations during this time may make mistakes when proceeding with selling estate property or when dealing with heirs. For instance, some heirs will be confused about who will be getting that assets and how they’ll receive them.
For example, some heirs will mistakenly believe that if one of their parents has already passed on, the property they have been automatically their own. This isn’t always the case, Smith said. While many people think that only the living parents have the power to sell property after a parent has passed on, in some cases the court may allow other relatives to make a claim on the estate for the deceased parent’s debts and financial losses. If the real estate agent doesn’t include this information when the will is executed, the heirs may be unable to sell the property and obtain the payment they’re owed. This can have an enormous impact on the ability of the heir to pay creditors and become financially independent.