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A Guide to the Process: What a Probate Lawyer Does

Probate is a legal process for the distribution of assets from an estate. This means that a probate court gives the deceased person’s will full legal force and effect. If you are named an executor or administrator of someone’s will, you may be required to handle their probate case.

What Does a Probate Lawyer Do?

A probate lawyer assists with the probate process, which can be difficult to complete without legal guidance and knowledge. If you are a beneficiary, the probate lawyer will ensure that your inheritance is distributed how it was written in the deceased person’s will. Probate lawyers work closely with clients through the entire process. They provide counsel on issues like:
  • asset inventory preparation
  • taxes associated with the deceased person’s assets
  • creditors’ claims against the estate
  • final tax return filings
  • securing assets that are not yet distributed to beneficiaries (such as real property)
  • assisting in court proceedings concerning debts owed by the deceased person’s estate

Finding the Right Probate Lawyer

When looking for a probate lawyer, you should make sure to find someone with the right experience and expertise for probating your estate. This will be different depending on state law where you live and how complex the probate is likely to be. For instance, in the state of New Jersey, it would be vital to hire a lawyer who is familiar with the details of that state’s recent estate tax changes.

The process of executing an estate plan

The process of executing an estate plan is complicated, and you will need guidance from a probate lawyer. The probate court may have its own rules that must be followed during the probate process. These include submitting certain forms to the clerk’s office as well as hiring an appraiser or cashing out assets before transferring them into your name.

Frequently Asked Questions About Probate Law

How long does probate take?

The time it takes for the probate process can vary depending on the size of the probate and how complicated it is. Probating a complex will or trust may take up to six months in some cases.

How much does probate cost?

The probate costs depend on the complexity of the case, how many assets are in the estate, and whether or not it goes to court. The process can cost anywhere from $1500-$20,000.

What kinds of questions should people ask probate lawyers?

  • What should I expect during the probate process?
  • What will be the executor’s duties?
  • How will we handle creditors?
  • How will any discoveries of estate mishandling be dealt with?
If you want the assurance of knowing your loved one’s affairs are handled correctly, contact Tarta Law for probate services at (201) 444-8448 for a consultation today. Tarta Law serves the New Jersey Communities of Midland Park, Ridgewood, Glen Rock, Wyckoff, and Franklin Lakes.

Tarta Law Firm NJSteven W. Tarta, Esq. brings more than 45 years of professional experience to his practice, with a sophisticated focus on Estate Tax Planning, Living Trusts and Elder Law.

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