We handle probate and guardianship cases because we enjoy helping families in very trying times. Probate simply is the process of wrapping up the affairs of someone who has passed away. We advise clients to try to avoid probate by arranging your affairs during your lifetime in such a way that probate is unnecessary, but often that is not possible or life intervenes and people don’t get around to doing it.
If someone dies with or without a will and has probate assets, an “Estate” will have to be established and an executor or personal representative appointed. The executor or personal representative will need a lawyer, and in many jurisdictions he or she is required to hire a lawyer. We can serve as the executor or personal representative and the lawyer, or just the lawyer.
Our goal in probate cases is to get them closed quickly and inexpensively. Generally, the costs of administration are paid first, then the creditors, and lastly the heirs. An attorney who takes a long time or is otherwise inefficient will spend far too much of the money on administrative expenses, including his or her attorney fee. This leaves less, if anything at all, for the heirs. Don’t make the mistake of hiring the wrong attorney to assist you with a probate matter.
Guardianships are usually for elderly people and children – people who by reason of age or incapacity cannot legally act on their own. They are similar to probate cases in that the attorney and guardian are helping to manage the affairs of someone who, although alive, is unable to act for himself or herself. As with probate cases, we strive to handle guardianships as inexpensively and efficiently as possible so that as much available money as possible is used or saved for the ward.
Honesty is an important character trait for all lawyers, but it is especially important in probate and guardianship cases. If you have a potential probate or guardianship matter, please contact us for a free consultation.