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Probate Attorney: What Do They Do?

If someone you love passes away, you may find yourself stuck in the probate process. The probate process can be an extremely drawn-out and confusing process. Luckily, there are attorneys that are experts in the process and would be happy to help you through it. 

What Is Probate?

If this is your first time going through the process, you may not even know what probate is before you get stuck in the middle of it. If your loved one passed away without putting all their assets in a trust, then there's almost no way to legally avoid the probate process. 

The probate process can include things like:

  • Validating the decedent's will
  • Appraising the decedent's properties
  • Inventorying the decedent's assets and property
  • Paying taxes and/or debt

After all the taxes and debts are paid with the decedent's funds, the remaining money and assets will be divided up the way the decedent outlined in their will. The probate process may require court appearances and a great deal of paperwork to complete.

What Is a Probate Attorney?

A probate attorney specializes in representing executors and/or beneficiaries of an estate. A probate attorney is a great resource, especially if this is your first time going through the process. If your probate case has to appear in front of a judge, it's always beneficial to have a lawyer represent you. They will be knowledgeable on all laws surrounding the probate process and can answer any questions or concerns you may have.

What Does a Probate Attorney Do for You?

A probate attorney will be with you in the courtroom to prevent you from saying or doing the wrong thing in front of a judge. Other services a probate attorney can provide for you include the following:

  • Collecting life insurance money
  • Organizing property appraisals
  • Assisting in the tax and debt payments
  • Completing all paperwork
  • Transferring assets to the beneficiary
  • Handling any tax issues
  • Dispersing any remaining assets after taxes and debts are paid

Your probate attorney will be responsible for a lot during the probate process. An attorney has experience in the process, so do not be afraid to let them take control of the situation and help you.

Cost of Hiring a Probate Attorney

Hiring a probate attorney costs between $3,500 and $7,000 on average. Depending on the size of the estate, this cost can change drastically as most probate attorneys charge a percentage of the value of the estate for their services. The bigger the estate, the more money your attorney will be paid since bigger estates are more work for the attorney.