Probate is the legal name for the process of transferring assets after someone dies. Probate often involves:
- The validation of an extant will in court
- In the absence of a will, a petition by the closest family members to receive and divide a person’s assets
- The identification and inventory of the deceased person’s property
- Appraisal of inventoried property
- Evaluation and payment of debts, claims of creditors, and taxes
- Distribution of the remaining property as per the will, or according to state law if there is no will
The probate lawyers at Jacoby & Meyers represent beneficiaries (people designated by a will), heirs (close family members who may receive the assets if there is no will), executors (a person named in the will to probate the estate), and administrators (a close family member who petitions the court to be in charge of the probate process), in the event of:
- Probating an estate with or without a will
- Resolving some will contests
Being America’s largest full-service consumer law firm since 1972 means we have the experience to counsel surviving family members during this transition and help them make sound legal decisions over the course of the probate process, which can run from a few months to several years depending on the complexity.
Whether or not there is a will, the estate will be probated in the state and county in which the deceased lived when he or she died. As a national law firm, Jacoby & Meyers has attorneys familiar with the law and able to help you settle the estate of your departed relative, even if you are prevented from personally appearing in-state. We can also help ensure that all relatives, no matter how far-flung, have their rights represented. We have handled hundreds of probate cases. In addition, our lawyers have a network of professional contacts who can help heirs or beneficiaries to sell estate property, or secure loans to cover expenses during the probate process. For the successful execution of an estate, probate requires full representation. Probate law is sufficiently complex that clients who attempt to proceed without representation, even in cases with a clear, extant will, risk losing more of the estate than necessary through taxes or other expenses of transferring the estate. Furthermore, the fee for lawyers handing a probate case is statutorily limited, so you have no fear of being overcharged for legal representation.