If you need legal help with estate matters, you may not know what kind of attorney you need. Below, we discuss two types of estate lawyers. While they both work in the same area of law, we explain the difference between a probate attorney and an estate planning attorney.
What Does an Estate Planning Attorney Do?
An easy way to remember what an estate planning attorney does is to remember “planning” in “estate planning.” An estate planning attorney helps you plan before death or incapacity. For example, our Centennial estate planning lawyer helps our clients make effective estate plans to ensure the smooth handling of their money and other resources after their death.
An estate planning attorney can help you in many ways, including, but not limited to:
- Use estate planning tools, like a revocable living trust and a will, to ensure the protection and the distribution of your estate according to your goals
- Assign beneficiary designations for your assets in order to help them avoid probate
- Set up an advance directive, or a legal document that lists out your end-of-life wishes
What Does a Probate Attorney Do?
Probate is the act or process of proving a will after death. It generally involves a complicated legal process by which a decedent’s final debts are settled and legal title to property is formally passed from the decedent to beneficiaries and heirs. A probate attorney assists with probate procedures and administering the estate after death.
A probate lawyer can help the executor or beneficiaries of the estate navigate the probate process. Depending on your unique situation, a probate attorney can help you in the following ways:
- Prove the decedent’s will if there is one by filing any necessary paperwork with the court
- Identify assets and have them appraised
- Pay any bills or taxes that may be due
- Settle or dispute any outstanding debts
- Distribute the decedent’s estate according to his or her will or in accordance with the state’s intestate succession laws (if there is no will)
Contact Skipton Law, LLC About Your Centennial Estate Planning Needs
Whether you need legal assistance with probate or help setting up your estate plan, our Centennial estate planning lawyer can help you. Contact us online or call us at (720) 613-2633 for more information. We also provide free estate planning workshops that you can join.