A probate attorney helps administer a deceased person’s estate by filing paperwork in a court. They can help the executor of an estate settle debts and distribute assets to heirs. They can also handle legal disputes that may arise during the probate process.
There are many factors that play into whether or not you need a probate lawyer. Some of the most important factors include how comfortable you are navigating probate, how complicated your state’s laws are, and the size of the estate. If you have a well-established trust or estate plan, it is possible that you will not need a probate attorney to oversee the administration of the estate.
When someone dies, their estate must go through the probate process to validate the will and ensure that their wishes are carried out. This is a complex legal process that can be difficult to manage, especially when the deceased was close to family and friends. Probate attorneys are experienced in handling these sensitive situations and can provide guidance to clients throughout the process.
A probate lawyer can also handle disputes over the will, such as when a beneficiary believes that the will was invalid or signed under duress. In these cases, a probate lawyer can file a lawsuit on behalf of the estate. In addition, they can help heirs navigate state inheritance laws in the absence of a will.
Some probate attorneys specialize in particular areas of law, including estate planning and elder law. These lawyers can help you create a comprehensive estate plan that includes documents such as healthcare proxies, durable powers of attorney, and HIPAA forms. They can also assist you with probate and trust administration, taxation issues, and other matters related to the death of a loved one.
Before you hire a probate attorney, make sure that you understand how they charge for their services. Some attorneys charge a flat fee, while others may bill hourly. It is also important to find out if they have any experience handling a similar situation to yours.
A good probate lawyer will have excellent verbal and written communication skills. They must be able to communicate clearly with their clients, executors, and beneficiaries, as well as other professionals such as financial managers and insurance specialists. They must also be able to work well in stressful or time-sensitive situations.
In addition to being able to work with a variety of individuals, a probate attorney should also have strong research skills. They need to be able to quickly evaluate evidence and arguments in order to develop the best strategy for their clients. They should be able to explain the legal process in an easy-to-understand way, so that their clients can make informed decisions.
In the event that a loved one passes away without a will or trust in place, a New York City probate attorney can assist with settling the estate. They can help the executors of an estate manage debts, pay taxes, and distribute assets to heirs. They also offer estate planning services and can assist disabled individuals with securing government benefits.