What Is The Difference Between A Probate Lawyer And An Estate Lawyer?
A probate lawyer helps to validate the last will and testament of a deceased person and executes their last wishes in accordance with the law. After notifying creditors and paying any final debts owed by the deceased, a probate lawyer divides the estate amongst the designated heirs. If no will has been left by the deceased, a probate court follows state intestacy laws to decide how to divide assets.
When a person dies, assets held individually in their name become the property of the probate estate, meaning the heirs must pay taxes to inherit these assets. Bank accounts, valuable personal items, and real estate are usually subject to probate.
An estate lawyer aims to reduce the number of the client’s assets that will be subject to probate upon their death. The goal of estate planning is to maximize the transfer of assets to loved ones and make the probate process more efficient. Estate lawyers employ a wide variety of techniques—from creating a limited liability company or a trust to contributing strategic donations to charity—to reduce the taxable estate for their clients.