What You Need To Know About Probate Attorneys

A probate attorney is a lawyer licensed by the state to advise the people involved in dealing with the estate and final wishes of a person who has died.

Terms you need to know about probate law:

  • A probate attorney is also called a probate lawyer, an estate lawyer, or an estate attorney.
  • A deceased person is known as a decedent.
  • An executor is a person who was named as being responsible for seeing that the wishes of a deceased person are carried out about their estate. Executors are also called personal representatives.
  • Testate means that a person died with a valid last will and testament.
  • Intestate means the decease did not have a legally valid last will and testament when they died.

The terms are important in understanding the documents that are involved in probate court.

What A Probate Attorney Can Do For You

The main objective of a probate attorney is to guide the executor through all of the probate process. The probate procedure must comply with the probate laws that exist in the state that a person who has passed away resided in. The probate procedure must also comply with probate law in any state that the deceased owned real estate.

The probate attorney must be licensed to practice law in all of the states involved in the last will and testament of the deceased. A thorough understanding of legal differences between states and continued education updating the probate attorney in changes in probate law where they practice is legally mandatory and necessary for astute judgment on the probate attorney’s part in their advisory capacity.

What A Probate Attorney Can Advise You About

The probate attorney’s responsibilities to the executor include:

1) Determining what are probate assets and what are not.

2) Determining the physical location of probate assets and securing those assets for the beneficiaries.

3) Getting appraisals of all of the decedent’s real estate at the date of their death.

4) Preparing all paperwork for all courts involved in the execution of the will in a manner that complies with the time limits in each state.

5) Receiving and securing life insurance proceeds.

6) Following the deceased’s wishes in selection of recipients and rolling over all retirement plan funds like IRAs, 401Ks, and any company retirement that is transferable to a spouse.

7) Giving the executor advice on payment of any debts the deceased had.

8) Managing the estate checking account.

9) Minimizing federal and state estate taxes and income taxes and making arrangements for payment of those taxes in a timely manner.

10) Negotiating disagreements between executors and beneficiaries.

The probate process is complicated and confusing. Executors and beneficiaries need the advice, experience, and counsel of a Coachella Valley probate attorney. You need to contact a Coachella Valley probate attorney as soon as possible after the person has died to be certain that their wishes are fulfilled and that the beneficiaries get as much from the estate as possible.