What Is a Probate Attorney?

Attorney Image By: James Filippi

Dealing with the legal aspects of an individual’s estate after their passing can be a difficult and emotionally challenging process. A probate attorney serves a crucial role in navigating the complexities of probate law so that you don’t have to. In this article, we will examine the role and vital functions of a probate lawyer.

What is Probate?

Probate is the legal process that is typically supervised by a court to decide if a will exists and is valid, to figure out who the beneficiaries or heirs are and transfer property to them, to figure out how much assets are worth, and to handle the decedent’s financial responsibilities, including the payment of creditors. Court supervision ensures that the decedent’s wishes are followed if they had a will or state laws if they didn’t.

What is a Probate Attorney?

A probate lawyer is a legal professional who handles the legal proceedings associated with the distribution of a person’s estate after their passing. These attorneys are well versed in probate laws, estate planning, and the intricacies of wills and trusts.

Roles and Responsibilities of a probate lawyer

  1. Validating the will: This involves confirming the legitimacy of the will and ensuring it meets all legal requirements. When there is no will (intestate), the attorney guides the distribution of assets according to state intestacy laws.
  2. Drafting the Probate Petition: The laws of probate require exacting detail for the petitioner and any minor mistake or omission can result in the delay of the petition or outright dismissal by the court. The probate attorney will ensure the petition is drafted properly, giving it the best opportunity to be granted at the first court hearing.
  3. Court Representation: Probate attorneys represent the administrator or executor of the estate in court. Throughout the probate process, they file necessary documents, attend hearings, and handle any legal challenges.
  4. Asset Inventory and Appraisal: Probate attorneys assist in identifying and determining the worth of an estate’s assets. This includes bank accounts, investments, personal property, real estate, and more. Accurate valuation is essential for the fair distribution of assets among heirs and beneficiaries.
  5. Debt Settlement: The probate lawyer is also involved in settling outstanding debts and taxes owed by the estate, which can involve negotiating with creditors.
  6. Distribution of Assets: Once all debts and taxes are settled, the probate attorney oversees the distribution of the remaining assets to the designated beneficiaries and heirs according to the court’s order, which will be based on the decedent’s will or the laws of intestacy.

A probate attorney’s expertise can be invaluable during a time of loss. These legal professionals guide families through the intricacies of the probate process, ensure the deceased person’s final wishes are respected, and ensure their estate is disbursed properly. Their role is critical to providing legal clarity during a challenging time. 

You might find this article helpful: https://filippilaw.com/california-probate-frequently-asked-questions/ 

Filippi Law Firm probate attorneys are here to help you through this challenging time. Call (916) 333-7910 or fill out our contact form to get in touch with our office. Our initial consultations are free and can be done over the phone, via Zoom, or in person at our office in Rocklin, California.

Satisfied Client Stories


Was going in for heart surgery in a week and needed an Estate Plan ASAP! Jennifer and the staff at Filippi Law Firm managed to put together my plan, which was rather extensive, within that time frame. This gave me the peace of mind I needed in case the worst happened. Luckily it wasn’t need but I now have it in case I ever do. Great staff and wonderful to work with. Wouldn’t go to anyone else. Would give 10 stars if I could.

Matthew S. | Antelope, CA

We recently relocated from the Bay Area and wanted to update our over-25-year-old Living Trust. He did an outstanding job. He also gave us some contacts in Texas to update some property we own there.

Elmer Y. | Rocklin, CA

Patient and caring and trustworthy are the best words to describe the service my husband and I received. We highly recommend this law firm.

Koren C. | California

I highly recommend Filippi Law Firm. Katia, is extremely genuine very helpful. Great communication from beginning to end. We will work with this law office again. Thanks, team!

Robin G. | California

Loved working with the team here for legal services. Responsive and professional and kept me updated through the process. Great all-around experience!

Matthew J. | California

Always there for you !! Always answering all your questions!! The experience was easy , fast and affordable!! There team is amazing!!!

Michelle W. | Vacaville, CA

Contact Us