Definition of a Probate Lawyer
Some attorneys have a specific area of practice, while other specialize in a number of different legal arenas. A probate attorney specializes in estate matters after someone’s death.
When a person passes away, the heirs to the person’s estate may retain the services of a probate attorney who has expertise in handling this matter to expedite the process.
What is Probate
Probate is the process by which a last will and testament is filed with the court in order for the court to oversee the administration of the terms contained within the document.
Definition of a Probate Attorney
A probate attorney possesses expertise, either from hands on experience or from specialized course work, in handling probate matters.
General Duties of a Probate Attorney
Generally, a probate attorney files the will with the court, identifies the deceased’s property and assets, determines the claims against the estate, assesses taxes owed, provides for an evaluation of the property contained in the estate, provides for payment of the claims and distributes the property and assets to the heirs.
Additional Duties of a Probate Attorney
Additionally, a probate attorney may handle will contests. A will contest occurs where an heir believes that they are entitled to receive something within the will that isn’t clearly stipulated one way or another.
The probate attorney advances arguments on behalf of the challenging heir to the will.
How to Retain a Probate Attorney
Ask friends and family for a referral to a probate attorney in the area or inquire with your local bar association for a few references.