The probate process is as emotional as it is confusing to most heirs and beneficiaries. Thankfully, probate attorneys are in the business of facilitating the most efficient and personalized estate plans as possible. It is worth pointing out, however, that even the most inexperienced beneficiaries may make their own contributions to a more frictionless probate process. Something as simple as“choosing a probate attorney near me” is the first thing to think about if you want to expedite the entire process.
Whether you are interested in choosing a probate attorney near me, or simply Googled “probate lawyer near me,” you may want to hear what this guide has to say. Please keep reading if you want to learn about the benefits of working with a local probate lawyer, including:
What is a probate attorney & what do they do?
A probate attorney is a lawyer who has been licensed by the state to assist in the validation and administration of a final Will. To be clear, a probate attorney is not the executor or administrator of the Will, but rather a third party with an intricate working knowledge of the process.
The presence of a good probate attorney assures heirs, executors, administrators, and anyone else involved in the execution of a Will that everything is done correctly and efficiently. Enlisting the services of a probate attorney helps navigate everything from the estate planning process itself to the final distribution of inheritances.
With the help of a qualified probate attorney, you can rest assured the estate of a loved one is in good hands, which begs the question: What is a probate attorney? Perhaps more specifically, what do they do and why should you consider working with one?
On the surface, a probate attorney is a lawyer trained in the planning and execution of a Will. As a result, a probate attorney may be hired to assist in someone’s end of life plan or represent heirs, beneficiaries, and estates in the administration of said plan (also known as the Will).
5 reasons to choose a local probate attorney
There are countless reasons to consider working with a probate attorney. After all, a good probate attorney can take all of the stress and headaches out of a complicated process. However, there’s one reason that gets ignored far too often: their proximity to the court and representatives. Anyone in need of a probate lawyer should strongly consider working with a local professional.
“Choosing a probate attorney near me” should be one of the first thoughts you have when vetting lawyers. Working with someone close by coincides with added benefits, not the least of which include:
You can vet them in person
The have knowledge of local county processes and operations
They have helpful relationships with local appraisers
It is easier to share documents and personal information
Potential cost savings
1. You can vet them in person
Executing and administering an estate plan is both personal and complex. You will want to make sure you hire the right person for the job. In fact, there is absolutely no reason you shouldn’t seek out the best legal representation for your particular situation.
While it is possible to hire a great probate lawyer from anywhere in the country, we recommend thinking about a “probate lawyer near me.” There isn’t a better way to gauge whether or not a probate lawyer is right for you than to have an in-person conversation with each candidate. Vetting a lawyer in person will simultaneously mitigate the risk of miscommunication and give you a better idea of their competencies, abilities, and experience.
More importantly, vetting a probate lawyer in person will give you more insight into their intentions. That’s not to say most probate lawyers aren’t working for a paycheck, but rather that you want to make sure they have your best interests in mind. Legal representation who prioritizes your needs is of the utmost importance at such an emotional time, and there’s no reason to settle for anything less.
2. They have knowledge of local county processes operations
The probate process is a complicated procedure, convoluted even further by each probate process by state. Where the administration and execution of a Will takes place can impact how the probate process is carried out. With that in mind, heirs, beneficiaries, and estates are strongly advised to work with probate attorneys who are familiar with local laws and processes.
In order for a probate lawyer to do their job effectively and efficiently, they must know the guidelines that pertain to their unique state and municipality. Everything from state-specific rules to clearing probate notes can influence the process, and the lawyer you hire will need to be able to navigate everything while abiding by the law.
A lawyer with an intimate knowledge of local laws and processes will facilitate a much smoother probate. Their experience with the local court could end up saving you a lot of time, money, and hassle—all of which culminate in an invaluable “peace of mind” at a time when it is needed the most.
3. They have helpful relationships with local appraisers
One of the best reasons to work with a local probate lawyer is the ability to tap into a network of professionals. If for nothing else, probate lawyers wear many hats and deal with professionals in several industries on a regular basis. Of the professionals probate lawyers work with regularly, none may be more valuable to heirs and beneficiaries than licensed and certified appraisers.
The administration of a Will may coincide with countless assets, all of which need to be assigned a value at one point or another. Whether it is real property like a house or personal property like jewelry, assets must be appraised for one reason or another. In fact, the probate process may not be able to proceed until everything in the Will has been appraised and assigned a value.
The appraisal process can prove expensive and timely for those without the proper connections. As a result, it may be a good idea to work with a probate lawyer who already has connections with local appraisers. Doing so may facilitate a faster appraisal process and move the probate along at a brisker pace.
4. It is easier to share documents and personal information
A number of online platforms make it easier than ever to share documents and personal information. The advent of technology has connected everyone in a way we could never have imagined just a few short years ago. Yet, despite the latest advancements in document sharing technologies, it is simply easier to share documents and information in person.
Choosing to work with a local probate lawyer will take away the stress of converting PDFs into editable documents and having to learn the equivalent of a computer engineer’s degree in order to secure personal information. While tech-savvy individuals may not have a hard time sharing documents and personal information online, there are plenty of people who will benefit from meeting their probate lawyers in person.
5. Potential cost savings
One of the most common reasons people choose to work with a local probate lawyer is the ability to cut unnecessary costs. Working with a probate lawyer in another county (let alone another state) may result in more traveling and higher costs. The moment you choose to work with a probate lawyer who isn’t within close proximity to your location, you consent to additional costs that otherwise wouldn’t exist if you worked with someone nearby.
Less obvious, but nonetheless important, is the amount of time you may save by working with a local probate lawyer. At the very least, time is money. Whether it is the amount of time you retain the lawyer for the length of the entire process, the longer the probate takes, the more it can cost. Therefore, it is a good idea to work with a local lawyer to save as much time as possible, and inevitably money.
Learn more about the probate process
Hiring a probate attorney is a great way to take the burden of estate planning and Will administration off the plate of heirs and beneficiaries. A qualified probate attorney will ensure everything is done correctly and efficiently. However, ensuring the process is carried out without a hitch starts with choosing a probate attorney near me. Working with a local professional will remove unnecessary obstacles, save time and money, and make things easier on everyone involved.
“Choosing a probate attorney near me” is the first thing heirs and beneficiaries should consider when executing an estate plan. Here at Trust & Will, we’re here to help keep things simple. You can create a fully customizable, state-specific estate plan from the comfort of your own home in just 20 minutes. Take our free quiz to see where you should get started, or compare our different estate planning and settlement options today!
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