Probate Attorneys

Probate is defined as the process of administering a dead person’s estate. This process involved organizing money, assets, and possessions and distributing them as inheritance after paying any taxes and debts. Probate is a court-supervised proceeding that authenticates a will.

The probate process is a court-supervised proceeding where the authenticity of the will that has been left behind is proved to be valid and accepted as the true last testament of the deceased. 

Of course, laws of each state vary which makes it important to reach out to a professional like a probate attorney to better understand the probate proceedings and if it’ll be necessary for you to go through them. A will that has been drafted properly could eliminate some of the steps in the process that would be required in the probate proceedings. Sometimes you hear that if there’s a living trust that can mean you could avoid probate, but that isn’t always the case and an attorney can explain that further.

If avoiding probate is not an option for you then you’re probably wondering who exactly is responsible for managing the probate process. The executor that has been named in a will or an administrator that’s appointed by a probate court will be the individual(s) responsible for overseeing the probate process. Oftentimes, a probate judge appoints an administrator if there is no executor named in a will or the individual who died did not prepare a will. An administrator can be a relative or the person that’s inheriting the majority of the decedent’s estate.

The executor has many responsibilities and duties to conduct. The executor is responsible for filing the final, personal income tax returns for the deceased. Some other duties of the executor or the administrator will be appointed are:

  • Obtains the decedent’s original will
  • Hires a probate attorney, if needed
  • Starts and manages the probate process
  • Cancels credit cards
  • Notifies government entities of the decedent’s death
  • Manages assets

If an executor or administrator decides or needs to hire a probate lawyer then they will still need to oversee the probate process, however, a probate lawyer will be performing most of the work throughout the process to ensure everything abides by laws and represents the decedent’s last wishes and wants.