When Do You Need a Probate Lawyer?
Probate attorneys will assist the estate’s executor in all aspects of managing the probate process. They will help the administrator do the same if there is no will or no named executor. In some cases, a probate attorney may fill the executor or administrator themselves.
Even when the decedent has left a valid will, the probate process is complicated and often lengthy. A probate attorney can be an invaluable asset, especially if someone contests the will. When a valid will is established, a probate attorney will perform other essential but complicated tasks and advise parties on various legal matters.
Some examples of what a probate attorney can do for you include, but may not be limited to:
- Reviewing the will to ensure that it was not written or signed under duress or against the best interests of the testator;
- Collecting and managing life insurance payouts;
- Arranging for the estate property to be properly appraised;
- Locating and securing all of the decedent’s assets;
- Providing advice regarding the payment of the decedent’s bills and debts;
- Preparing and filing documents as required by the probate court;
- Managing the estate’s finances and accounting; and
- Determining whether any estate taxes are owed.
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How Much Does It Cost to Hire a Probate Lawyer in the U.S.?
An hourly fee for a probate lawyer in the U.S. may range from $250 to $350 per hour. Or, if the estate is not complicated, e.g., all of the assets are known and left to a spouse or evenly divided among surviving children, the attorney may charge a flat fee for probate.
A flat fee is a single, lump sum of money. A flat fee for probate might be around $3500.
It is possible that an attorney would agree to represent a person in contesting a will on a contingency fee basis. This would mean that the attorney would take from 30 to 45% of the amount the attorney recovers for the client as the attorney’s fee. In a contingency fee situation, the attorney only gets paid if they recover money for the client.
So, an attorney would only take a will contest case on a contingency fee basis if they were very confident of winning an award of money for the client. It is more likely that an attorney would charge an hourly fee for representing a client in a will contest case.
What to Look For in a Probate Lawyer
Work with an experienced and local probate attorney who can relieve much of the burden of estate distribution. The best local probate lawyers will be best aware of your state’s specific laws and ensure that you move forward while adhering to those laws.
A probate attorney should also be able to represent you in court, as needed, should any issues arise throughout the probate process.
How to Prepare for Your Consultation With a Probate Lawyer in the U.S.
When preparing for your consultation with a probate lawyer in the U.S., review the will, life insurance payouts, property appraisals, and decedent’s assets. The more information you can bring to your lawyer, the better.
Where to Find the Best Probate Lawyers in the U.S.
The internet is the easiest, quickest, and most convenient way to find a probate lawyer. You can use an internet search or websites to find a probate lawyer online. Some websites will be more helpful than others. You should choose a website that is trustworthy and easy to use to get the best results.
LegalMatch is a great tool to find a probate lawyer online. LegalMatch has a unique, free service that matches clients with attorneys in their area. Using this website, you can quickly find a probate lawyer online that is best for your case.
Using LegalMatch to find a probate lawyer online is very easy. All you need to do is fill out a contact form online. As soon as possible, a probate lawyer in your area will respond. Users can leave reviews of attorneys. You can look at attorney profiles and reviews and contact a specific attorney yourself. Multiple qualified and experienced probate lawyers can see the information you fill out in your area. LegalMatch’s free service will help you find the best probate lawyer for your specific legal issues.
It is recommended that you hire a skilled and experienced probate lawyer in your area. Probate and estate law can be very complicated, and you will likely need a specialized attorney for your matter. An experienced probate lawyer will be able to give you the best advice for your specific issue.
You can find bar directories and lawyer finders through the American Bar Association.