This is the attorney that you would hire to administer the last will and testament of a deceased person. They will also help to guide the heirs through the probate process in court, which is when a person files a petition for probate. This is the process to determine if the will the deceased left behind is valid. In the probate process the assets that the deceased left behind are distributed to pay any bills and what is left is divided among the heirs as the will states. The probate attorney will assist the heirs during the legal process, including filing any necessary pleadings and motions. If the will is contested by the heirs they will make arguments to the court as to why it is being contested. It the court has any questions about the will’s validity he will answer their questions.
Although this is not required for them to do so sometimes they will be the executor of the will, especially if the deceased has named them as the executor of their estate. When they are the executor of the will they will manage the distribution of any assets the deceased has left behind. Some of his duties can be helping to change the title on some property. It can also be helping to move assets into the person’s name who inherited the items. The probate attorney is also responsible to make sure that all of the funds are accounted for along with the taxation aspect of the will and estate. When the probate attorney is the executor of a will they are generally paid a nominal fee, which could be a percentage based on a percentage of the estate or a flat fee. It is a fee that is separate from the one for preparing the will.
To become a probate attorney you will first have to have a bachelor’s degree and graduate from law school, which can take up to ten years. Before you can apply to take the bar exam you will have to have acquired a specific number of hours work experience for a law firm. Each state has a specific number of hours. Once you have met this requirement you can take the bar exam.
As an added bonus you should have good interview skills. When discussing any requests to change a will or when creating a will having persuasion and oral communication skills can be very helpful. When starting work as a probate attorney many will work as a junior attorney for a law firm that deals with probate work. They will be the ones that review wills, doing paperwork that involves the execution of an estate, and fulfilling change requests. They will also learn how surrogate court works.
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