Contesting A Will: Do YOU Need A Probate Lawyer?

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In the matter of settling or contesting a will, many heirs are confused. The deceased had probate lawyers to manage the affairs of estates, and they defend the interests and last wishes of the deceased. Yet, heirs who wish to contest a will tend to think that they need a probate lawyer to contest the will. Contrary to the confusion, you would not hire a probate lawyer. Here is why.

Probate Lawyers Work for Testators

A testator is one who makes the will, then hands the will off to the probate lawyer for safekeeping. Probate lawyers work for the testators, not the heirs. You cannot consult with the testator's probate lawyer, but you can consult with another probate lawyer in another law firm. That probate lawyer can provide you with some helpful advice by informing you whether or not you have valid grounds to contest the will. 

Probate Lawyers Do Not Typically Author Wills

Probate lawyers manage the affairs of the deceased's estate and disburse what is left after all debts are paid. They do not typically author wills, although they may advise their clients how to will certain assets to their heirs. Additionally, they do not write or set up trust funds for heirs, but they can tell clients how to protect the funds in a trust from taxation.

You Will Need a Lawyer to Contest the Will

Regardless of what you discover, you will need your own lawyer in court. You cannot contest a will without filing the proper paperwork and knowing exactly what to say on the paperwork so that it is a legally acceptable reason for contesting the will. To effectively contest a will, you need a different sort of lawyer than a probate lawyer. You need a lawyer that knows how to write wills and what affects the validity of a will, including wording that could be interpreted in an entirely different manner.

Wills and Trusts Lawyers Are What You Need

When you are not the author of the will in question, you need a lawyer who writes wills and helps clients create trusts. Although related, these two types of lawyers practice different branches of law. They are essentially two sides of the same estate coin. Because you are contesting the will, you need a lawyer who knows how wills are constructed and the specific legal and allowable ways in which you can contest one. 

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