What Does A Probate Attorney Do And Do You Need One?

Posted on: 24 February 2022

If you have recently had a loved one pass away and now find that you are the executor or a beneficiary of their estate, you might wonder if you need a probate attorney. In some cases, it's not necessary to hire a probate attorney if you find that everything with the estate is in order and there is no argument between beneficiaries.

In some cases, however, your loved one's estate might be a bit more complicated to settle. This is where a probate attorney can help you settle all legal matters. Here is what a probate attorney can do so you can decide if you need one to help you.

File The Necessary Paperwork

A probate attorney can help you by preparing and filing with the courts all the necessary paperwork to begin the process of distributing your loved one's estate. Each state has its own laws and regulations surrounding what legal documents must be filed and a probate attorney is well-versed in what your loved one's estate will require.

For example, if there are only their house and bank accounts to settle, that will require a different set of filings than if they owned a large business that needs to be dealt with.

Collecting Relevant Documents

A probate attorney can help you collect all relevant legal documents such as contracts, leases and loans, bank accounts, and life insurance policies. They can help you sort through and close all accounts in your loved one's name and help to distribute the proceeds from bank accounts and life insurance policies to the correct beneficiaries.

They can help you find any existing mortgages on their home, or the deed which you will need to transfer the title into your name or whoever their home was willed to.

Help Settle Outstanding Debts

A probate attorney can help you sort through and settle any outstanding debts and payments that are still owed by your loved one. This can include any bill payments for utilities, bank loans, property taxes, and any income taxes that might be owed.

A probate attorney can help you negotiate payment settlements and figure out how much of your loved one's assets can be sold to pay off any outstanding debts.

Transferring Property Titles To The Beneficiaries

Once all outstanding debts are paid, a probate attorney will help to transfer any and all property titles over to the beneficiaries. This will include any vehicles, houses, commercial properties and businesses, and any other assets of value.

If you plan to sell the home, a probate attorney can get a property assessment done to see what the value of the home or other property is so you can sell it.

A probate attorney will handle the final disbursement of all assets and funds to the beneficiaries once all debts and bills are paid. This will settle the estate completely. 

Contact a local probate attorney for more information.