What Is a Probate Attorney: Roles and Qualifications

What Is a Probate Attorney

What Is a Probate Attorney?

A probate attorney is a legal professional who specializes in the area of probate law, which deals with the legal process of administering the estate of a deceased person.

When someone dies, their assets, debts, and property require management and distribution in alignment with their will or state laws.

A probate attorney assists the family and beneficiaries of the deceased individual by leading them through the probate process.

This ensures the fulfillment of the person’s desires and the fulfillment of legal prerequisites.

What Is a Probate Attorney? Qualifications

To become a probate attorney in the USA, an individual typically follows these steps:

  1. Education: A probate attorney must first earn a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university. Although a specific undergraduate major is not mandatory, many aspiring probate attorneys opt for majors related to law, finance, or business.
  2. Law School: After completing a bachelor’s degree, aspiring attorneys must attend law school. Law school typically takes three years to complete. During this time, students study various aspects of law, including probate and estate planning, through coursework and practical exercises.
  3. Juris Doctor (JD) Degree: Upon successfully completing law school, individuals are awarded a Juris Doctor (JD) degree, which is the basic legal degree required to practice law in the United States.
  4. Bar Exam: To become a licensed attorney, law school graduates must pass the bar exam in the state where they intend to practice. The bar exam tests a candidate’s knowledge of state law and legal ethics.
  5. Licensure: After passing the bar exam, individuals are admitted to the state bar association and are officially licensed to practice law in that state.

Roles and Responsibilities

The roles and responsibilities of a probate attorney in the USA can vary based on the specific case and the needs of their clients, but generally include:

  • Estate Planning
  • Probate Administration
  • Dispute Resolution
  • Tax Planning
  • Guardianship and Conservatorship
  • Will Contests
  • Legal Advice