Probate is a legal process that involves the administering and distribution of a deceased individual’s estate based on the will that he or she had left. Probate attorneys handle this legal process, serving as a representative of the executor of the deceased’s estate. A probate attorney may also represent the heirs of an individual’s estate if no will was left behind. It is also possible for probate attorneys to serve as executor of a deceased’s estate.
Probate is a lengthy process that involves much administrative work. Probate attorneys are tasked with several responsibilities, some of which include filing the necessary legal documents and settling the estate as well as the debts of the deceased or the testator. Legal counsel may also be given to heirs who wish to contest or validate a will left by the deceased. When the probate attorney acts as an executor as well, he or she has the responsibility to distribute the assets of the deceased’s estate according to the terms left in the will. Probate attorneys acting as executors may not become a beneficiary of the will because of the responsibility he or she carries.
A probate attorney undergoes the same training and education any other attorney-at-law does. He or she enters a law school after graduation from college, and then proceeds to work at a law firm that specializes in the field he or she wishes to practice in, in this case, probate law. Probate attorneys usually work for a law firm that specialize in probate law or set up their own legal practice.