If you have been tasked with executing a California estate or are worried about your inheritance’s future in probate, you have likely considered hiring an attorney. However, as you deal with probate, you may wonder if you must use the same attorney the decedent used to draft their last will and testament. The short answer is no.
Choosing A California Probate Lawyer
Just because the decedent hired a lawyer to write their last will and testament does not mean you have to hire that same attorney to help with probate. While that attorney may be a skilled professional, there is a chance they may not be experienced in administering probate or executing estates. To make your life as an executor or beneficiary easier, look for a qualified, experienced probate lawyer.
Probate lawyers have experience helping their clients negotiate the probate system. They can help move the estate through the courts, finding and filing the necessary paperwork to ensure the process is handled properly. Additionally, a probate attorney can initiate proceedings, marshal an estate’s assets, make payments to potential creditors, and then begin distributing inheritances. When an estate is complex or a will is contested, they will defend the estate against any challenge.
How to Choose a Probate Lawyer
Since all attorneys are licensed to practice law, any lawyer can claim they are familiar enough with California probate to help you through it. However, probate proceedings can be complex, and it is best to hire someone who is skilled in estate planning.
Before committing to any one attorney, carefully consider their areas of competence. If they advertise as a probate litigation specialist, they may not be the best at estate administration. Look online for any client references, and check their website for information.
If you find an attorney who offers free consultations, you may want to ask them:
How long they have practiced law.
The best probate attorney is often one who’s been practicing law for a long time.
What they specialize in.
A probate attorney who handles estate planning and estate affairs—such as drafting wills and administering trusts—is an attorney who is dedicated to their discipline. Someone who primarily practices criminal law or mediates business disputes is probably not the best option to manage an estate.
What other people say.
Testimonials and reviews can speak volumes. If you know someone who has experience with a given attorney, ask them what they thought. If you do not know anyone who has hired a probate attorney before, go through the testimonials they should have available on their website.
Do You Need Legal Help Regarding Probate Issues In California?
If a loved one died without a will and you need legal assistance regarding the probate process you should be speak with an experienced probate attorney as soon as possible. Contact us online or call our office directly at 800.756.5596 to claim your space at one of our free, informative seminars. Your attendance will qualify you for a discount for our probate services. We proudly serve clients throughout California with offices in experienced probate attorney as soon as possible. Contact us online or call our office directly at 800.756.5596 to claim your space at one of our free, informative seminars. Your attendance will qualify you for a discount for our probate services. We proudly serve clients throughout California with offices in Torrance, Newport Beach, Orange, Woodland Hills and Pasadena.