If you are a beneficiary of a will or someone close to you has recently passed, you may be wondering how probate lawyers can help and what exactly they do.
Probate lawyers, also known as estate lawyers, ensure that a deceased person’s assets are disbursed according to their will. Probate lawyers guide the beneficiaries of the will through the entire process. You can also consider the guidance of Atlanta based probate lawyers for your will process.
What will a probate or estate attorney do for you?
A probate attorney will guide you through the process of identifying estate assets before you die and ensures the proper distribution of those assets after you pass.
A probate lawyer should assist the executor and beneficiaries of an estate as best they can.
A probate lawyer should be able to prepare and file necessary documents, manage the checking account of the estate, secure estate assets, transfer assets to beneficiaries, obtain property appraisals, collect life insurance proceeds, and resolve any other issues that may come up.
How much do probate lawyers charge?
Different lawyers charge different rates. Most charge by the hour. Probate lawyers charge between $150 and $200 per hour. Beware of fees that can be tacked on! Make sure you get a written statement of fees that you will have to pay beforehand.
Depending on your situation, there are different ways you can pay for their services. If you do not want to pay by the hour, you can find a probate lawyer that will charge a flat fee.
The estate pays the probate lawyer, not the executor. The cost to pay for a probate lawyer should be taken from the estate before the assets get divided.
When should you hire a probate lawyer?
If a trust has been set up, you do not need a probate lawyer. Trusts ensure that the transfer of property is smooth without any legal proceedings.
You would need a probate lawyer if there was no will and testament at the time of death. In this case, each beneficiary must file claims for the assets they think they deserve.
Even if there was a will at the time of death, you might still consider hiring a probate lawyer to address any issues that may arise.
What can I expect from a probate attorney?
Your probate attorney should be a state-licensed attorney who can work with the executors and beneficiaries of an estate. He or she is responsible for settling the affairs of a deceased person according to their will.
Hiring a probate attorney can be a little daunting and a lot expensive. If you believe one is necessary, it is important to choose the right one. Your probate lawyer should be competent, experienced, have your best interests in mind, and have a payment plan you are comfortable with.