Lawyer for Probate

Clients Rate Lawyers on our Platform 4.9/5 Stars
based on 4,787 reviews

Jump to Section

Need help with a Last Will and Testament?

Post Project Now

Post Your Project (It's Free)

Get Bids to Compare

 Hire Your Lawyer

A lawyer for probate is a state-authorized attorney who can assist the executor of a will or the heirs moving through probate to settle an inheritance. In addition, their services could generally comprise everything from inventorying and finding assets of the estate to understanding and clearing all the debts the estate may own, settling and distributing the estate to beneficiaries, and more.

What Does a Lawyer for Probate Do?

A lawyer for probate, also known as the last will and testament lawyer, functions closely with the will enforcers and the beneficiaries of an estate to resolve the decedent's concerns. However, their involvement will depend on the value of the decedent's belongings and whether or not they held a last will and testament at the point of their demise.

Furthermore, in circumstances where no testament or will exists, beneficiaries file claims for the estate they think they are privileged after the individual's demise. On the contrary, in circumstances where a lawful will exists, problems may arise regarding the will's accuracy and actuality, leading to a possible suit. Besides these, a lawyer for probate typically performs many jobs that are as follows:

  • Collecting payoffs from the defendant's life insurance policies.
  • Acquiring assessments for the decedent's actual property.
  • Defining and protecting inheritance assets.
  • Assisting in the payment of invoices and other monetary obligations.
  • Drafting and registering all records needed by a probate court.
  • Determining if any estate or inheritance taxes are due and ensuring those commitments are fulfilled.
  • Setting income tax matters.
  • Managing the estate checking account.
  • Transferring assets with the decedent's ownership to the qualified heirs.
  • Making a conclusive allocation of assets to beneficiaries after all bills and taxes have been settled.

What Is a Probate and How Does it Work?

A probate is a process through which a will gets approval and validated as a legal document. The will allows you to leave your acquisitions and other worthwhile possessions to heirs and designate custodians for minor beneficiaries.

In addition, probate courts will use your last will when handling the matters of your inheritance. Nevertheless, when an individual departs intestate, i.e., without leaving any will, the heirs will have no control over the result of the person's estate's allocation.

For example, a financially irresponsible kid could unexpectedly receive a significant sum of money that the individual would have never assigned to them if they were still alive. Also, a person's testament document handles your property's disposition, such as bank balances, real estate, or prized possessions. Probate can also designate guardian arrangements for living heirs. If you have investments or a company, your last will can determine who will receive those assets and when.

Probate or last will also allow you to grant assets to charitable trusts of your preference. A probate court typically handles the will administrator to ensure that the desires cited in the will are fulfilled. In addition, probate can make the foundation of an inheritance plan and is the key instrument used to guarantee that the inheritance issues are resolved in the way expected by the departed individual.

Meet some lawyers on our platform

Zachary J.

81 projects on CC
View Profile

Valerie L.

35 projects on CC
View Profile

Ryenne S.

192 projects on CC
View Profile

Bruce B.

24 projects on CC
View Profile

What Are the Types of Probate?

  • Informal Probate

    Informal probate is typically the fastest of the probate procedures because conventional tribunal hearings are not required to decide the validity of the will or the beneficiaries specified in the will.

    Furthermore, in informal probate, the individual agent of the will can allocate the assets and property of the estate with minimal oversight by the tribunal. As long as the will is not challenged or complaints exist about the action of the estate’s agent, the tribunal’s involvement will be restricted to closing and opening the estate when probate is completed.

    The probate procedure starts when the individual representative applies to a probate authority, rather than a magistrate, to ask for an appointment as a private representative and to accept the testament if one exists. The registrar authorizes the estate to move informally and ensure proper documentation, consisting of a testament, plea for informal will, testimony of approval by the individual representative, and list of interested individuals, is complete.

  • Formal Probate

    Formal probate generally happens when the requirements of informal probate are not met, and tribunal involvement is required. In these circumstances, tribunal involvement, including a trial, is needed to manage the process and settle conflicts. Nevertheless, given the extensive paperwork, formal probate is more costly and time-consuming than informal probate.

    It starts with a probate lawyer filing a petition asking a magistrate to define the validity and authenticity of any existing will, designate a personal agent, and determine beneficiaries if required. When the plea for formal probate has been obtained, the court will examine the petition and support the personal agent. The personal representative may then start handling outstanding matters in the estate.

Key Terms

  • Beneficiary: An individual named to inherit money or other possessions in a statutory record. Wills, trusts, and insurance policies generally name beneficiaries for "payable-on-death" statements.
  • Inheritance tax: A lawful tax imposed on people who inherit property. In addition, only a few major states in the U.S. inflict estate tax, and most exempt close family members from the inheritance tax.
  • Executor: The person appointed in a will and designated by the probate court after the will-maker's death to wind up the affairs of a departed individual. In some states in the United States, executors are known as "personal representatives."
  • Residuary or residue estate: All real estate possessions are subject to a testament not presented expressly in the final will. Generally, a will leaves distinct worthwhile articles to prescribed beneficiaries and then "the remains and rest of the estate" to another heir.
  • Successor trustee: An individual who takes control of a trust if the existing trustee can no longer work.


Probate is a fundamental legal document in an individual's estate plan. It extends a person's last desires about their assets and possessions. In addition, probate provides specific instructions regarding administering a person's guardianship. Nevertheless, there are many things the last will cannot perform for a person, such as assisting a household in lowering estate taxes or avoiding probate. Our professional attorneys at Contracts Counsel can help you prepare a comprehensive will document so you can always remain assured of your estate division. Making the right choices now will guarantee you've done things right.

How ContractsCounsel Works
Hiring a lawyer on ContractsCounsel is easy, transparent and affordable.
1. Post a Free Project
Complete our 4-step process to provide info on what you need done.
2. Get Bids to Review
Receive flat-fee bids from lawyers in our marketplace to compare.
3. Start Your Project
Securely pay to start working with the lawyer you select.

Meet some of our Lawyers

Octavia P. on ContractsCounsel
View Octavia
5.0 (2)
Member Since:
January 30, 2021

Octavia P.

Free Consultation
Chicago, IL
16 Yrs Experience
Licensed in IL
The John Marshall Law School

I am a business law attorney with over 10 years’ experience and a strong background in information technology. I am a graduate of the University of California Berkeley, a member of the Illinois bar and a licensed lawyer (Solicitor) of England and Wales. I actively partner directly with my clients or indirectly, as Of Counsel, to boutique law firms to streamline business practices and manage legal risks by focusing on essentials such as - business contracts, corporate structure, employment/independent contractor agreements, website terms and policies, IP, technology, and commercial related agreements as well as business risk and compliance guidance.

Albert M. on ContractsCounsel
View Albert
5.0 (6)
Member Since:
February 9, 2021

Albert M.

Free Consultation
Woodbury, NJ
20 Yrs Experience
Licensed in NJ
Rutgers School of Law - Camden

I am a New Jersey licensed attorney and I have been in practice for over nineteen years. My practice mainly consists of representing public entities (municipalities, school boards, etc) and businesses, both small and large. In that capacity, much of work consists of drafting, reviewing and revising contracts.

Jose P. on ContractsCounsel
View Jose
5.0 (1)
Member Since:
February 14, 2021

Jose P.

Free Consultation
San Antonio, Dallas
23 Yrs Experience
Licensed in TX
University of Pennsylvania

I am a corporate lawyer with expertise working with small businesses, venture capital and healthcare. Previously, I worked at large law firms, as well as head attorney for companies. I graduated from Harvard College and University of Pennsylvania Law School. I speak 5 languages (Spanish, French, Italian and Russian, plus English), visited over 60 countries, and used to compete in salsa dancing!

Briana C. on ContractsCounsel
View Briana
5.0 (36)
Member Since:
February 15, 2021

Briana C.

Founder, Branch Legal LLC
Free Consultation
Boston, MA
11 Yrs Experience
Licensed in CA, MA, NY
Columbia University School of Law

Legal services cost too much, and are often of low quality. I have devoted my law practice to providing the best work at the most affordable price—in everything from defending small businesses against patent trolls to advising multinational corporations on regulatory compliance to steering couples through a divorce.

Elizabeth C. on ContractsCounsel
View Elizabeth
Member Since:
November 23, 2020

Elizabeth C.

Contracts Specialist
Free Consultation
Sarasota, FL
14 Yrs Experience
Licensed in NJ, NY
Quinnipiac University School of Law

As an experienced contracts professional, I offer an affordable method to have your contracts reviewed! With my review of your contract, you can understand and reduce risks, negotiate better terms, and be your own advocate. I am an Attorney, Board Member, and Freelance Writer with a Bachelor of Arts degree, magna cum laude, in Film, Television and Theatre (“FTT”) from The University of Notre Dame. I was awarded The Catherine Hicks Award for outstanding work in FTT as voted on by the faculty. I graduated, cum laude, from Quinnipiac University School of Law, where I earned several awards for academics and for my work in the Mock Trial and Moot Court Honor Societies. Additionally, in my career, I have had much success as an in-house Corporate Attorney with a broad range of generalist experience and experience in handling a wide variety of legal matters of moderate to high exposure and complexity. My main focus in my legal career has been contract drafting, review, and negotiation. I also have a background in real estate, hospitality, sales, and sports and entertainment, among other things.

Elizabeth R. on ContractsCounsel
View Elizabeth
Member Since:
January 21, 2021

Elizabeth R.

Free Consultation
Columbus, Ohio
12 Yrs Experience
Licensed in FL, OH
Florida International University School of Law

Elizabeth is an experienced attorney with a demonstrated history of handling transactional legal matters for a wide range of small businesses and entrepreneurs, with a distinct understanding of dental and medical practices. Elizabeth also earned a BBA in Accounting, giving her unique perspective about the financial considerations her clients encounter regularly while navigating the legal and business environments. Elizabeth is highly responsive, personable and has great attention to detail. She is also fluent in Spanish.

Abby V. on ContractsCounsel
View Abby
Member Since:
December 8, 2020

Abby V.

Free Consultation
Washington, DC
16 Yrs Experience
Licensed in DC, NJ, NY
Loyola University Chicago School of Law

Abby is an attorney and public policy specialist who has fused together her experience as an advocate, education in economics and public health, and passion for working with animals to create healthier communities for people and animals alike. At Opening Doors PLLC, she helps housing providers ensure the integrity of animal accommodation requests, comply with fair housing requirements, and implement safer pet policies. Abby also assists residents with their pet-related housing problems and works with community stakeholders to increase housing stability in underserved communities. She is a nationally-recognized expert in animal accommodation laws and her work has been featured in The Washington Post, USA Today, Bloomberg, and Cosmopolitan magazine.

Brit B. on ContractsCounsel
View Brit
Member Since:
December 30, 2020

Brit B.

General Counsel
Free Consultation
Remote (company based in Houston)
9 Yrs Experience
Licensed in TX
University of Maryland, School of Law

First in-house counsel for small TX-based company operating in the Middle East. Experienced with drafting, revising, and editing a variety of domestic and international contracts.

Matan S. on ContractsCounsel
View Matan
Member Since:
January 4, 2021

Matan S.

Free Consultation
Philadelphia, PA
10 Yrs Experience
Licensed in NJ, PA

Matan is an experienced M&A, corporate, tax and real estate attorney advising closely held businesses, technology start ups, service businesses, and manufacturers in purchases, sales, and other exit strategies. Matan works with founders and first-and-second generation owners to strategically transition businesses.

Sean D. on ContractsCounsel
View Sean
Member Since:
January 26, 2021

Sean D.

Business Attorney
Free Consultation
Elkridge, Maryland
25 Yrs Experience
Licensed in MD
University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law

Accomplished and results-driven business attorney with extensive experience in commercial real estate / project finance, commercial transactions, and entity formations, that possesses a winning blend of subject matter expertise, skill in client relationship management, and practical experience. Leverages a unique mix of legal, strategic, and analytical expertise that consistently meets and surpasses client expectations. Specialties: Commercial Real Estate Law, Contract Negotiation, Entity Formation, Joint Ventures, Procurement, Lease/Buy/Sell Transactions, Business Consultations, Team Leadership, and Economic Development

Jonathan D. on ContractsCounsel
View Jonathan
Member Since:
February 9, 2021

Jonathan D.

Free Consultation
5 Yrs Experience
Licensed in FL
Florida International University School of Law

Miami-based duly licensed attorney and customs broker with significant experience in various types of supply chain business agreements, as well as experience in entertainment law.

Find the best lawyer for your project

Browse Lawyers Now

Want to speak to someone?

Get in touch below and we will schedule a time to connect!

Request a call