Estate Planning

What are the steps in probate with an estate planning lawyer

What are the steps in probate with an estate planning lawyer 1

What are the steps in probate with an estate planning lawyer

Probate is the legal process of administering a deceased person’s estate, though it sounds simple, this process can be complex and challenging for those unfamiliar with its nuances. However, with the guidance of an experienced estate planning lawyer, navigating probate becomes more manageable. This article will explain everything you need to know about the process of probate with an estate planning lawyer. Continue reading to learn more.

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  • Initial Consultation

The first step is to schedule an initial consultation with an estate planning lawyer. During this meeting, the lawyer will gather information about the deceased person’s assets, debts, and beneficiaries. They will also discuss the client’s goals and wishes regarding the distribution of their estate.

  • Documentation and Review

The estate planning lawyer will review relevant documents, such as the deceased person’s will, trusts, and financial records. They will ensure that all necessary paperwork is in order and identify any potential issues or concerns that may arise during the probate process.

  • Filing the Petition

The next step is to file a petition with the probate court to initiate the probate process. The petition will request the appointment of a personal representative, also known as an executor or administrator, to oversee the administration of the estate.

  • Notification of Interested Parties

Once the petition is filed, the estate planning lawyer will notify all interested parties, including beneficiaries, heirs, and creditors, of the probate proceedings. This may involve publishing a notice in a local newspaper and sending formal notices to known creditors.

  • Inventory and Appraisal of Assets

The personal representative, with the assistance of the estate planning lawyer, will compile an inventory of the deceased person’s assets and obtain appraisals, if necessary. This step ensures that all assets are properly accounted for and valued.

  • Payment of Debts and Taxes

The estate planning lawyer will help the personal representative identify and prioritize the deceased person’s outstanding debts and taxes. They will ensure that these debts and taxes are paid from the estate’s assets by applicable laws and regulations.

  • Distribution of Assets

Once debts and taxes have been settled, the remaining assets of the estate can be distributed to the beneficiaries according to the terms of the deceased person’s will or trust. The estate planning lawyer will oversee this process to ensure that it is carried out accurately and efficiently.

  • Final Accounting and Closing of Estate

The personal representative is responsible for preparing a final accounting of the estate’s assets, income, and expenses. This accounting must be approved by the probate court before the estate can be officially closed. The estate planning lawyer will assist with the preparation and submission of the final accounting.

  • Resolution of Disputes

In cases where there are disputes and challenges during the probate process, the estate planning lawyer will provide legal representation and guidance to resolve conflicts among the concerned parties. This may involve mediation, negotiation, or litigation, depending on the nature of the dispute.

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  • Continued Legal Support

Even after the probate process is complete, the estate planning lawyer can continue to provide ongoing legal support to the personal representative and beneficiaries. This may include assistance with trust administration, tax planning, and asset management.


Scaling the probate process with an estate planning lawyer by your side can help facilitate the process and ensure that the deceased person’s final wishes are carried out effectively and efficiently. From filing the initial petition to distributing assets and closing the estate, an experienced lawyer can provide valuable guidance and support every step of the way.