A probate attorney is a legal professional who helps the executor of a will and the beneficiaries of an estate settle the decedent’s assets. They provide guidance through the process, which may include identifying and valuing assets, paying debts and distributing assets to heirs.
Probate lawyers typically have extensive experience with wills, trusts and inheritance laws. They also have specialized knowledge of tax laws governing estates and inheritances.
Qualifications for a career as a probate lawyer vary from state to state, but all attorneys are required to pass the bar exam. This is a two-day examination that tests a candidate’s legal knowledge and skills.
The best way to become a probate lawyer is to earn a law degree. This will prepare you to take the bar exam, which consists of multiple written questions about law and ethics. You must also have a license from the state in which you are practicing.
You must also be a member of the American Bar Association and complete a course on the Uniform Probate Code, which outlines rules and limitations for wills, trusts and other legal documents. This will ensure that you are aware of all of the complexities and details surrounding the legal aspects of an estate.
A probate lawyer can help a client transfer ownership of real estate to a beneficiary. They can also help a client contest a will if they believe it was forged or named under improper influence.
If a person dies without a will, they are considered to have died “intestate.” The state of New York has strict intestate succession laws that dictate who is entitled to an intestate estate. These laws are rigid and limit heirs to specific family members, such as a spouse and children.
The heirs of an intestate estate must file a petition with the court. Once the court accepts the petition, the heirs must then follow the legal procedures for settling the decedent’s estate.
An experienced probate attorney knows how to navigate the complex probate laws and can ensure that all the necessary steps are taken in a timely manner. This will make the process much easier for heirs and beneficiaries.
A good probate attorney will be able to answer all your questions and explain the processes in detail. They will also be able to offer guidance on how to prepare your estate and avoid any possible pitfalls during the probate process.
Hiring an experienced probate attorney can save you time and money during the estate settlement process. A good attorney will be able to explain the legal nuances and complexities of the estate administration process to you, and they will be able to guide you through every step.
In addition to knowing the law, it is also important for a probate lawyer to be familiar with the judges in the court in which your case will be heard. While all judges are similar in some ways, they each have their own unique ways of handling cases.