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Is Hiring a Probate Lawyer Worth the Cost?

Were you aware that a probate lawyer can help you distribute assets from an estate?

A probate lawyer is essentially someone that specializes in administering the estate of someone that’s died. While someone from the deceased person’s family is often appointed as an executor, having a lawyer can ensure that the executor goes through the necessary steps.

Unfortunately, many people worry about the probate lawyer cost and avoid hiring them. However, the cost to have a lawyer probate a will isn’t much. Even if they charge higher rates, you most likely won’t be the one paying the fees.

So how much does a probate lawyer cost? Read on to learn everything you need to know!

What Does a Probate Lawyer Do?

When hiring a probate lawyer, you can expect to get a variety of services that’ll help you administer your estate. Thanks to their experience, they can guide you through several processes to ensure that everything is done correctly.

These are some of the main things probate lawyers do:

File Paperwork

While many people worry about probate lawyer fees, they often don’t consider how much work they’d have to do without one. With a probate lawyer, you can get all the proper paperwork filled out so that the administration process doesn’t get delayed.

Offer Advice

Throughout the entire estate process, a probate lawyer can provide you with advice that’ll help you better administer things. If you’re unsure of how to proceed after becoming an executor, they’ll tell you which steps to take.

Represent You In Court

Aside from providing advice, probate lawyers, also accompany their clients when they need to go to court. You’ll have to make several necessary court appearances after becoming an executor, so your probate lawyer will tell you which things to say.

The Benefits of Hiring a Probate Lawyer

Shortly after being appointed as the executor, many people find themselves asking, “Do I need a probate lawyer?” Unless you’re the executor, you won’t need a probate lawyer. However, anyone that’s been appointed should hire one because of the several benefits they provide.

Avoid Upfront Fees

Probate lawyer fees often aren’t charged until after the case is resolved. These lawyers do this because families typically have to pay for a plethora of other things soon after the death of a loved one.

Depending on how money is distributed, the court can approve of probate lawyer fees being paid with the estate. If this is the case, you won’t have to pay anything when working with them.

Resolve Things Quickly

Hiring a probate lawyer ensures that you get things resolved as quickly as possible. If you’ve never been an executor before, there’s a good chance you won’t go through the necessary steps to distribute the estate. However, a probate lawyer will prevent this from ever happening because they’ll tell you exactly what to do.

Avoid Disputes

Family disputes are common when distributing an estate, but a probate lawyer can help you avoid them. These disputes often happen because others don’t trust the judgment or opinions of the executor.

For example, if an executor distributes a vehicle from the estate to a friend of the loved one instead of a family member, others may get upset. However, a probate lawyer can help you determine which things should go to each person to satisfy everyone.

How Much Does a Probate Lawyer Cost?

According to The Balance, the cost to have a lawyer probate a will varies depending on which state you’re in. However, you can expect to pay anywhere between 4% to 7% of the estate in probate lawyer fees.

If you look up your state’s probate laws, you can find all the information you need regarding probate lawyer fees. Search for something like “how much does a probate lawyer cost” and include your state. You should then see several websites that focus on your local probate laws.

While some states have exact percentages for probate lawyer fees, others have vague laws. You may live in a state in which the law states that probate lawyer fees should be “reasonable,” which would give the lawyer more room to charge more. This is why you’ll need to look into your state’s laws before deciding anything.

Other Expenses

Aside from probate lawyer fees, you should account for several other expenses you’ll face throughout the probate process.

One of the main expenses will be executor fees, which are a certain percentage of the overall state. For example, an executor can be entitled to 3% of the first $100,000.

You’ll also have to pay court and accounting fees. Again, the exact values will vary depending on where you live and the size of the estate.

However, it’s best to cover all these expenses before you think about hiring a probate lawyer. This will ensure you have enough money to distribute everything.

Determine Whether a Probate Lawyer Is Right for You

Now that you have a better understanding of what a probate lawyer does, all you must do now is determine whether you need one. If you aren’t an executor, you most likely won’t need one. However, some people choose to hire them when they aren’t executors just to ensure that things are done properly.

Start by researching the average probate lawyer cost in your area to get a good idea of how much you’d have to spend. From there, you can reach out to different probate lawyers and describe what your estate is like. Keep in mind that you will not have to worry about probate lawyer fees at the beginning of the process.

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