“Why do we even NEED a probate attorney?” Debbie asked about 30 seconds into our phone call.
I knew I was going to like Debbie right away. She wasn’t afraid to ask the questions that really mattered.
Now that the question was asked, however, I was forced to answer it.
“It depends,” I said. “Here are a couple of things to consider. Let’s just start at the top.”
A Probate Attorney Does the Hard Work For You
Probate is a very procedure-driven process. You create some documents, you file some documents, you wait for a little while, you file some more documents, you do some other things, and eventually, you are done.
Sounds pretty simple, right?
If you’ve never done a probate before it can actually seem pretty daunting.
Probate attorneys know how to navigate the process. They know what to do first, second, third, etc., so the the estate administration moves at a good pace and the Personal Representative stays out of trouble with the court.
For our clients, for example, we get the information we need, complete all the paperwork, and take care of all of the procedural aspects so they don’t have to.
If something is coming due we let them know well in advance (and we remind them again and again so they don’t forget).
Probate is kind of like climbing Mt. Ranier. You can do it on yourself but it’s risky, or you can get a guide to show you how to make it to the top as smoothly as possible.
Your Probate Attorney is a Great “Deflector”
Probate is a notoriously slow process. There are timelines that have to be followed, and for many people, the pace of probate can begin to feel like the fault of the Personal Representative.
This is a great place for your probate attorney to step in and calm everyone involved.
Communication is our number one goal with a probate, and making sure everyone understands what’s going on and what the process is like often makes everyone a lot more comfortable.
Your Probate Attorney Keeps You Out of Trouble
Certain aspects of probate can get pretty complicated.
Whether it’s liquidating a specific asset, distributing an asset under the pressure of a beneficiary (before it should be) or figuring out how to pay income or estate taxes, issues arise in probate that Personal Representatives just aren’t sure how to handle.
That’s where your probate attorney comes in handy.
We know the rules, we’ve encountered almost every situation imaginable before, and we are equipped to find out the answer if we aren’t sure what to do (and anyone that tells you they know what to do all the time is someone you should be wary of).
As the Personal Representative you are held to a high standard of action. A good probate attorney helps you follow all the rules and stay out of trouble.
Probate Attorneys Make Your Job Easy
The Personal Representative has quite a bit of work to do when put in charge of a probate.
Good probate attorneys do whatever they can to make that job as easy as possible.
For example, when someone hires us to help them we send them a booklet that spells out, in non-legal terms, what they will be doing, when they will be doing it, and how to do it.
We’ve got checklists, and forms, and spreadsheets, and other tools and resources to make the job take as little work as possible.
Being a Personal Representative doesn’t have to be painful. And we do our best to make sure your experience is as pain-free as possible.
Hiring a probate attorney should be an investment in your family, not an expense. Pain free probate is possible.