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What Does a Probate Lawyer Do?

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Probate is a court-supervised process that takes place after a person dies. The process involves reviewing a will to determine if it is authentic and valid. Once the authenticity of a will is determined, the deceased person’s assets are identified, inventoried, and appraised.

Estate funds are used to settle any outstanding debts and pay taxes. After all, claims are satisfied, the remaining property is distributed as the will directs. If there is no will, the assets are distributed as per state law.

The executor of a will is responsible for handling probate. They should submit the decedent’s will in court and prove its validity. They are also required to locate, secure, and manage the assets of the decedent and must ensure the estate is distributed according to the wishes of the decedent.

That’s a lot of work even for an experienced executor. Probate is a complex process. Will executors often feel overwhelmed and overworked. The stress that comes with the job can take a toll on the physical and mental health of an executor while impacting their personal and professional life.

If you have been appointed an executor of a will that needs to go through probate, consider hiring a probate lawyer near you. Your probate lawyer will work with you and the beneficiaries to settle the estate owner’s affairs.

The professional will guide you through the probate process. A probate lawyer’s role can vary depending on the value of the estate and whether or not there is a will. Usually, a probate lawyer is hired when there is a dispute over the will or there is no will. Involve a probate attorney before probate proceedings begin to avoid potential legal headaches down the road.

Some common tasks a probate lawyer can assist you and the beneficiaries with are:

  • Identifying, securing, and managing estate assets
  • Notifying creditors and other parties about the probate
  • Satisfying claims
  • Collecting life insurance payout
  • Determining if there are past estate or inheritance taxes outstanding, and paying them
  • Preparing and filing documents required by the court
  • Getting the property appraised
  • Managing the estate account
  • Transferring assets in the decedent’s name to designated beneficiaries
  • Making a final distribution of assets and closing the estate

Your probate lawyer will also keep track of important dates. If the property is owned in multiple states, your probate lawyer will deal with other lawyers handling ancillary probates. They will advise you and other involved parties on legal matters concerning the estate.

Johnston Thomas Law is a team of experienced attorneys. We have our clients’ best interests at heart. Whether you are involved in a property dispute or need help drafting contracts, we have an experienced member of our team able to serve you. To learn more, call our office at (707) 545-6542.

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