Do I Need A Probate Lawyer? Key Considerations

Posted on: 14 October 2018

The loss of a loved one is a difficult time in anyone's life. Unfortunately, inheritance issues often add to the stress of this rough period. One question that arises frequently is whether or not you need a probate attorney to help you receive your inheritance. This question is not a simple one, as various factors must be carefully considered. The following article takes a look at some of the key issues involved.

Contested Will

A crucial consideration in determining if you will need to obtain a probate lawyer is discovering the intentions of your fellow heirs and beneficiaries. If any of them plan to contest the will, then you should seek an attorney to represent your interests. This will involve an upfront expense of course, but it gives you the best chance of seeing a favorable outcome in court.

Go Through Probate

Also, you need to determine whether your inheritance has to go through probate at all. For example, if the deceased put all of their assets into a living trust , then you will not need to go through probate and will receive your money or property from the executor of the trust.

Another important point is that certain types of assets that have a designated beneficiary do not go through probate court. For instance, if the deceased has left you money from a life insurance policy and specifically designated you as the beneficiary on the appropriate forms, you can receive the money directly without going through probate.

Real Estate

The type of assets left to you also play the role in deciding whether or not to engage a probate attorney. Some assets tend to lead to complications during the probate process. This is especially true of real estate. If your benefactor has left you any real estate property, then seeking the advice of an experienced probate lawyer is definitely a good idea. Also, if an ongoing business concern has been left to you, it's best to engage an attorney in this circumstance as well.


If the estate of the deceased has been left with a significant amount of debt, then your inheritance could be significantly reduced or perhaps even eliminated. In this situation, consulting an attorney is essential to ensure that your rights are protected.

As you can see, in certain situations, obtaining the services of an experienced probate lawyer is absolutely vital. If you find that you need a probate lawyer, contact your local bar association for assistance.