If necessary, probate proceedings can begin as soon as you lose a loved one. Probate is a function that validates the descendant’s Will to settle a property. The Latin root of probate is “to examine, to test”. As someone has passed, the Legislature and Courts of the Commonwealth are interested to deter fraud, ensure creditors are paid (including inheritance tax), and that the decedent’s wishes are effectuated. If the decedent dies without a Will, they are said to have died intestate, and the property may also go through probate in this case. When you die without a Will, there exists statutes that direct how your estate is administered and distributed, with a priority of appointments and beneficiaries.
Probate may be long, arduous, stressful, and not to mention expensive and time-consuming. After losing a loved one, navigating it alone might feel like an overwhelming task.
You might think you don’t need a probate attorney, but if you consider employing one, this information will help you understand what you need to know. You will find answers to a number of queries, including what a probate attorney does and how much a probate attorney costs.
What does a Probate Attorney Do?
A probate attorney is a licensed lawyer who helps administer a decedent’s Will (or no Will) with executors and other beneficiaries of the estate. With their help, the executor and beneficiaries go through probate to ultimately settle the estate. The probate attorney services usually include finding and inventorying assets, understanding the estate’s debts, paying them, and determining the estate’s beneficiaries. Other than these services, there are numerous other services that probate attorneys provide.
You must know that probate attorneys have a proper qualification that allows them to help you in the estate planning process in an efficient way. Probate attorneys might charge you additional money for basics like creating a will, writing a trust, dissolving a corporation, and settling a guardianship.
The estate attorney’s fee can vary depending upon their skills and years of experience. Some probate attorneys charge by the hour, while others have a flat fee structure. Similarly, attorneys charge depending upon the size of the estate.
Why do You Need a Probate Attorney?
As discussed earlier, the range of tasks that probate attorneys can perform is long. However, your services from the probate lawyer depend on your needs. For example, you might need a probate lawyer to assist the estate to face legal challenges because of the decedent’s debtors and other beneficiaries.
In Presence of a Will
Suppose the dead person had a legitimate and signed Will completed before death. In that case, the administrators can hire a probate lawyer to get help through the steps of the probate method by the terms of the Will.
If there is a challenge to the Will, like if a beneficiary feels the Will is illegal or made without mental capacity and/or under the influence of another, then the probate lawyer may additionally assist clients a party in probate litigation.
Perhaps there might be a person who wants to challenge being left out of a Will. There are several reasons why a Will is likely disputed, and you need a probate lawyer to assist to resolve the dispute.
In Absence of Will
Suppose the decedent dies without leaving a legally written Will. When this occurs, the Commonwealth’s inheritance laws determine who inherits. For example, depending on the specific circumstances and intestate legal requirements, a surviving partner, spouse, child, grandchild, parent, siblings, aunt, uncle, cousins can be beneficiaries entitled to all or part of decedent’s belongings.
These legal rules might vary greatly depending upon the situation. Understanding distributing assets according to state intestacy laws is critical.
In this case, a probate attorney can aid a loved one in appearing in court to be named as the executor. A relative who wishes to be the executor must first secure “renunciations” from the decedent’s other relatives.
A renunciation is a declaration that renounces one’s right to control the property. A probate lawyer may help keep such requirements steady, record them in the probate courthouse (Orphan’s Court), and then aid the administrator with the probate procedure.
Benefits of Probate Attorney
You can consider hiring a probate attorney to avoid disputes related to the property left by the decedent. There are numerous benefits that you obtain by hiring them. Let us talk about some of these benefits one by one.
You Get Time to Connect with Family
You must understand that handling the estate can be complicated and time-consuming. Moreover, you might feel overwhelmed by the process and might require an endless stream of details, court requirements, and the arrangement of numerous documents.
All this can cause you a lot of time, while performing the essential life tasks. Therefore, instead of performing these tasks on your own, you can consider hiring the services of professional probate attorneys.
They will perform all the essential tasks on your behalf, to help minimize your worry.
Resolve the Issue Efficiently
If you try to manage a property without professional assistance, you will eventually learn through trials about the errors. Without help, you will be able to complete the tasks but keep in mind that your work might not be efficient (or correct).
Therefore, instead of completing such tasks alone, you can hire a probate lawyer and let them do everything efficiently. They know the process, which may make a significant difference and allow you to relax.
How Much Does A Probate Attorney Cost
Remember that the cost that the professional lawyer might charge can vary depending on your services. Usually, the payment methods of the probate lawyer can include:
- Flat Fee
- Hourly Fee
- Payment Method
Another thing to remember is that probate attorneys might also charge the fee depending on their experience, types of assets, and geographical location. Most people also ask, “who pays probate attorney fees“? Well, the estate itself pays the probate attorney fee. These payments can include attorney fees associated with opening the probate estate itself.
If you are administering an estate, all the responsibilities can cause you to invest a lot of time in attempts to determine the related requirements, federal, state, and local, not to mention if the decedent did not leave a Will, causing an additional burden to navigate the task.
If you want to resolve the issue, you can consider hiring a probate attorney to help minimize your problems.
Please phone the law office to discuss your options further with a probate attorney, or submit a contact form on our website. Thank you! WPENNLAW pllc