What Does an Estate Lawyer Do?
An estate lawyer, also known as a probate lawyer or an estate planning lawyer, is a legal professional who has specific experience in providing legal advice and assistance in matters related to estate planning, probate, and trust administration. They help individuals and families plan and manage their assets during their lifetime, and after their death. They also help executors and beneficiaries with the distribution and administration of estates after their death.
Here are some of the specific tasks that an estate lawyer may perform:
- Estate planning: An estate lawyer can assist clients to create a comprehensive estate plan that includes a will, trusts, powers of attorney, and other documents to ensure that their assets are distributed according to their wishes after their death. For complex estates this requires specific knowledge and consultation with accountants and other experts as well.
- Probate and estate administration: When a person dies, an estate lawyer can help the executor or administrator of the estate navigate the probate process, including filing court documents, paying debts and taxes, and distributing assets to beneficiaries.
- Trust administration: An estate lawyer can also help trustees manage testamentary trusts and carry out the wishes of the trust creator, including distributing assets to beneficiaries.
- Estate Dispute resolution: An estate lawyer will represent clients in disputes related to wills, trusts, or estate administration, including will contests, disputes over the interpretation of estate planning documents, and breach of fiduciary duty claims.
Overall, an estate lawyer’s goal is to help clients ensure that their assets are protected and distributed according to their wishes, and to provide guidance and support to family members and loved ones during what can be a challenging and emotional time.