Probate Attorneys are lawyers who deal with estate law, specifically settling an individual’s assets after death. This includes figuring and gathering their assets, paying off debts and distributing their final assets to heirs or beneficiaries. It’s a court-supervised process that can be a long, drawn-out affair with loads of paperwork.
Many people wonder if they should hire a probate lawyer, and that depends on a few factors. How comfortable you feel navigating probate, how complicated your state laws are and how big or extensive the estate is will all play a role in whether you need an experienced attorney to help.
Some small estates may not even need a probate attorney. If the estate is below a certain dollar amount for value, it can qualify for an informal probate procedure that is much faster and less cumbersome. But in most cases, a probate lawyer will be necessary to ensure that the proper steps are taken to disperse the estate according to the decedent’s wishes and state laws.
In addition to helping with the transfer of assets, a Chicago probate attorney can also assist in other legal proceedings related to an estate. For instance, if a dispute arises about the will, this type of attorney can represent the interests of the estate and heirs in court. This can avoid conflicts and help settle disputes without the need to take them all the way to court.
When choosing a Probate Attorney, it’s important to ask how long they have been practicing law. The longer an attorney has been in practice, the better they will be at navigating the nuances of estate law and getting things done quickly for their clients. They will be familiar with the judges they work with, and the way each county handles probate matters. This is especially important if you live in a state with different rules and procedures than yours.
Another important question to ask is how they charge for their services. Will they charge a flat fee, a percentage of the estate or hourly? It’s a good idea to choose an attorney who charges by the hour, as this can save you money in the long run. Additionally, it’s important to find out how long they think the probate process will take. The longer it drags on, the more expensive your attorney’s fees will become.
A good Probate Attorney will have a minimum of a bachelor’s degree. While some attorneys have degrees in business management or family psychology, a degree in law is preferable for this type of work. They will also need to pass the LSAT to be admitted to law school. Once they have their degree, they will be required to complete a number of law school courses and obtain a license to practice law in the state where they are going to practice.
Lastly, they will need to join a law firm and gain some hands-on experience in the field of probate before becoming a probate lawyer. This can be done by working in the firm as a law clerk or intern. For more knowledge and guidance, contact us at www.chicagoprobateattorneys.net/contact-us/.