The term “probate” is something that you will be barraged with when you begin to look into the topic of estate planning, and by definition probate is the legal process that an estate generally passes through before it is formally closed. So probate lawyers are elder law experts who have an advanced understanding of probate and surrogate court procedures. They represent the interests of their clients as their respective estates go through probate.
But this is only a small portion of the overall responsibilities that probate attorneys typically assume. Probate lawyers by and large are involved in every aspect of estate planning and elder law, and many provide long term comprehensive financial planning solutions as well. The duties of a probate lawyer include helping clients draw up wills; facilitating the creation of revocable living trusts; helping with trust administration and fiduciaries; and the execution of durable powers of attorney. They also help with medical preferences via advance health care directives like living wills and health care proxies.
In addition, many probate lawyers assist their clients with retirement planning, Medicaid issues, long term care, incapacity planning, and even how to makes sure that pets are provided for after their owners pass on.
Of course there are some probate attorneys who keep a tighter focus and include some of these specialties while excluding others. But as you can see, the field is a broad one, and it has developed in its present form out of need. People are healthier these days and living longer, so the need for advanced planning is more important than ever.
With so much to consider and so much at stake, it really is important to proceed from an informed perspective. Probate attorneys understand the intricacies of elder law, and they are there to make sure that all of your bases are covered so that you can relax and enjoy your golden years with total peace of mind.