Do I Need a Probate Attorney?

A probate lawyer specializes in managing the filing of a will or last testament of a deceased individual. During this difficult and trying time, it doesn’t even occur to most people that they may need the assistance of an attorney. Even though no state actually requires the use of an attorney to probate an estate, sometimes the entire process can turn into some nasty disputes between family members. The sad truth is that deaths, funerals and wills often bring out the worst in people, and family members with whom you once got a long with, quickly turn greedy at the slightest hint of money. Seeking the help of a probate lawyer can make the entire process go a little bit smoother and take the process off your shoulders while you’re trying to grieve.

If you are wondering if your will need the services of a Probate Attorney in Daytona, FL, consider the following:

• Is there a dispute over past taxes or a complicated tax situation?
• Is your state’s probate procedure simple or rather complicated?
• Is there an ambiguity in the way the will is worded?
• Is there any problem with unfinished contracts — like the sale of a business that was never completed — or disputes with debts?
• Is there any disputed claims like the spouse claiming that a piece of property left to another is actually community property?
• Does the estate have enough assets to pay good all the debts left behind?
• Is there property left to a minor child and require a guardian appointed?

If there is even a hint that a problem could arise with the estate, you should contact a probate attorney — such as Jerry B Wells (a probate attorney in Daytona, FL) — to help legally navigate you through the process. Remember that there are several options available for hiring a probate attorney. In fact, you don’t necessarily have to turn the entire process over to the lawyer. You may only need their help as a consultant, for advice, or to review documentation that you have prepared. If the estate is rather simple with copies of the required forms and clear instructions, you may be able to complete the probate process without the help of a lawyer. If, however, you are unfamiliar with the probate process or the estate is complicated, you should seriously consider, at the very least, getting legal advice from a trusted probate attorney.

After the loss of my mother, I have to say this is something that everyone should consider.



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I'm Crystal. I'm married to Dale, and mother to Johnny.Some might say that my life is perfect because I get to do all the cliché wife things like cooking, cleaning, and decorating - but there's more! I also have many hobbies including needlework (crochet), sewing, and reading. My son's education is important, so we homeschool him together.

12 comments on “Do I Need a Probate Attorney?”

  1. Thank you for the tip on hiring a probate attorney if there could be any issues with an estate. I have several siblings and I would hate for things to turn ugly once my parents pass away. I’ll definitely try to find them and keep them in mind just in case something seems wrong.

  2. This is some very valuable information for anyone with close friends and family. I know when my father passed, his will led to a lot of contention between my brothers and uncles. A lot of that would’ve been negated if we had had a probate lawyer there to interpret the legal implications and circumstances. Thanks so much for writing!

  3. I completely agree that it is a good idea to consider hiring a probate attorney if it seems like there may be trouble with a deceased’s estate. When there are a lot of people mentioned in a vague will, arguments and disputes can arise when trying to split the estate correctly. Having a probate lawyer can provide an unbiased mediator and authority, so arguments shouldn’t be as devastating. Thanks for the information.

  4. I agree that you’ll need an attorney if there’s ambiguity in the will. I say this because generic terms can leave the will susceptible to multiple forms of interpretation. As a result, disputes can get heated and law suits initiated.

  5. My wife and I found the ability to get advice and consultation from our legal plan attorneys in every state invaluable. We live in Oregon, my mother’s estate was in Iowa with real estate in Minnesota. Day 1 we got great advice and counsel in Oregon, Day 2 Trust Attorney from Des Moines, Day 3 Real Estate Attorney from Minneapolis – all included in our $20 plan at no additional charge. Better to practice preventative law than dig a deeper hole.

  6. When a loved one names you as the administrator of their estate, it’s a sign that they trust you and believe you’ll carry out their wishes. Unfortunately, even the best administrators can find themselves overwhelmed by the probate process.

    The probate process comes with its own set of rules and regulations to follow, some of which aren’t always easy to understand.

    It’s best if no probate at all is required, but if that isn’t an option, figure out whether the estate can use “small estate procedures.Every state has its own rules on which estates can use the simpler procedures. But in many states, even estates that are fairly large,not counting non-probate assets,can use the simpler processes.

  7. Bringing in a good 3rd party probate can alleviate the stress placed on family members of having to comb through a will and make sure everything is done fairly. A death in the family can be difficult to handle and it is unfortunate that sometimes it can cause disputes in a family.

  8. Hi Crystal,
    Nice post! The article consists of valuable information which is knowlegde imparting and is worth reading. I really appreciate your efforts.After reading it I felt its really important to hire a probate lawyer.
    Thanks for posting and keep posting !

  9. Hey!

    Good post.

    At the time of death, when a will or living trust is not present, a legal entity will take control of all the assets.

    Thank you for explaining how important it is to hire a probate lawyer so that all your assets are giving to the right person.

    I really appreciate your efforts for writing this article.

    Keep doing this amazing work!

  10. If the estate includes a business with debts or assets, probate attorneys will know how to proceed in order to protect the business and the beneficiaries. They’ll also be able to help transfer ownership if there’s no direction in the deceased’s legal documents. In such cases, probate attorneys are very useful.

  11. One of the greatest advantages of dealing with an experienced probate attorney is their ability to protect the executor from legal and financial liability. The repercussions of inadvertently mishandling estate affairs can be severe. The executor or personal representative has inherent fiduciary duties of loyalty to the estate. Fiduciary duties are one of the first topics that all executors should discuss with a probate attorney.


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