What is a Probate Attorney?


A probate attorney, also sometimes referred to as an estate lawyer is a
legal professional who due to many years of education and training is
able to advise the executor/personal representative and/or estate
beneficiaries on how to go about settling the affairs of an individual
who has passed away. The time following a death is never pleasant but if
you hire the right estate lawyer to help you with the financial side of
things then it can go as smoothly as possible and in most cases should
not take too long to be settled and over with.

It helps to know exactly what probate is. Probate can be defined as “the
court supervised process of locating and determining the value of the
assets owned in the name of a deceased individual.” This person is
referred to in this instance as a “decedent.” Once this has been done
then the final bills of the decedent’s must be paid off and estate
and/or inheritance taxes must also be paid (if applicable). What is left
to do after that is to distribute whatever remains of the assets to the

Estate lawyers spend many years studying and mentoring in this specialty
of the law. This adds up to a lot of experience in dealing with all
different types of probate situations. They are also expected to take
continuing legal education courses which help to keep them up-to-date on
new developments and current trends.

A probate attorney is given the responsibility of teaching the executor
of a will the probate process from start to finish. The lawyer will
explain everything step-by-step and will teach the person everything
that they need to know to make well informed decisions about the estate
of the decedent.

This type of attorney is also sometimes hired to offer guidance and
advice to the beneficiary when it comes to legal matters as well as
other financial matters that have been brought to his or her attention
by the executor or personal representative. There is a lot to take in
and to handle when it comes to the estate of a deceased person. For many
people trying to do everything that needs to be done without the
expertise of a probate attorney would be overwhelming and extremely

A probate attorney does everything in his or her power and based on
his/her training and skill to assist and advise the executor on the best
course of action to take regarding the legal matters, debts and assets
of the decedent. When representing the executor the lawyer will be
required to find and to secure all probate and non-probate assets. He
will also need to get a hold of the date of death values and the
appraisals for all of the property that was owned by the decedent. The
probate attorney is also responsible for collecting the proceeds from
the life insurance and for giving proper counsel to the
executor/personal representative when it comes to retirements plans such
as 401k’s and IRA’s.

The estate lawyer is given plenty of other responsibilities as well. He
must keep track of the checking account for the decedent’s estate and he
must address all issues as they relate to income tax. He also must
advise the executor about how to proceed in regard to the outstanding
debts and last bills that must be paid from the estate.

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