Must I Hire the Attorney Who Prepared the Will to Probate It?
If you recently lost a loved one and they left behind a Will, the Will needs to go through probate. Probate is a process whereby the court validates a Will and appoints someone to administer the decedent’s assets and distribute assets to the intended beneficiaries. If you are ready to probate your deceased loved one’s Will, one of the questions you may be asking yourself is, “Must I hire the attorney who prepared the Will to probate it?” So, must you? No. You do not have to hire the same attorney who prepared your deceased loved one’s Will to probate it. However, it may be wise to consider working with the attorney who prepared the Will.
Do You Need To Hire the Attorney Who Prepared the Will to Probate It?
As mentioned already, you do not have to hire the attorney who drafted your deceased loved one’s Will to probate it. You can schedule consultations with as many probate attorneys as you need before deciding who to hire.
However, you may want to have the same attorney who prepared your loved one’s Will to probate it. The lawyer who prepared the Will understands the document and your family dynamics. They already know the assets involved. However, you should only consider working with the same attorney if they specialize in probate matters. If the attorney who drafted your loved one’s Will deals with estate planning only, it may not be a good idea for you to hire them to probate the Will.
Estate Planning Lawyers vs. Probate Lawyers
Before deciding to hire the attorney who drafted your loved one’s Will to probate it, it is crucial for you to understand the difference between estate planning attorneys and probate attorneys. Estate planning attorneys help people plan their affairs. The following are some of the tasks an estate planning attorney can help with;
- Preparing a Will
- Establishing a power of attorney
- Designating beneficiaries
Probate lawyers, on the other hand, can help you with, among other things, the following;
- Reviewing the Will
- Identifying estate assets
- Determining and paying inheritance taxes
- Paying all bills
- Distributing inheritance to beneficiaries
Some attorneys deal with both estate planning and probate matters, whereas others specialize in one. Given the complexities of the probate process, it is best to hire an attorney who specializes in probate matters, even if they also specialize in estate planning. While an attorney who doesn’t deal with probate matters may be able to offer you legal guidance, they may not be well-equipped to take you through the probate process.
Finally, while probate experience is very crucial, it is also vital that you consider other qualities before deciding who to hire to help you probate your deceased loved one’s Will. The following are some other qualities you should look for in an attorney;
- Good communication skills
- Helpfulness and flexibility
Contact The Probate Guy
If you have lost a loved one and need help probating their Will, contact the skilled and dedicated California probate attorney, Robert L. Cohen – The Probate Guy – today to schedule a free telephonic consultation.
Southern California Probate Lawyer Serving Orange, Riverside, Anaheim, Whittier & Beyond.