| Read Time: 5 minutes | Estate Planning
best probate lawyer near me

Few people imagine they’ll ever need a probate attorney. However, the need for adequate representation throughout the probate process becomes obvious right after a loved one passes on.

There are many reasons for this. First, probate is a long and complicated process.

This fact is especially true now as probate cases have surged since 2020. Second, probate proceedings tend to feature multiple emotional parties prone to conflict.

Consequently, probate disputes can be incredibly draining and overwhelming. For these reasons, hiring the best probate lawyer possible is wise. 

That said, how do you find a great probate lawyer? Cutting through the noise and discerning which firms are ideal for your situation can be challenging.

To help you make the right decision, we’ve written this piece on several ways to find the ideal probate attorney.

Contact our phenomenal probate attorneys today online or call 512-580-9525 if you have more questions or are looking for a probate law firm.

What Is a Probate Lawyer?

Before we delve into how to find the best probate lawyer, you must understand what a probate lawyer is.

A probate lawyer (also known as an estate lawyer or an estate attorney) is a licensed legal professional specializing in handling the process of probate.

When an individual dies, their estate often goes through probate. Here, a court distributes assets according to the deceased’s will or state law if there’s no will.

A probate lawyer assists executors of the will or estate administrators in managing this process. A probate lawyer’s responsibilities can include:

  • Guiding the executor on various aspects of the probate process;
  • Preparing and filing documents for the probate court;
  • Helping with the identification, valuation, and distribution of the estate’s assets;
  • Assisting in paying off debts and taxes owed by the estate; and
  • Addressing conflicts between executors, beneficiaries, or other parties.

In cases where the estate is straightforward and uncontested, a probate lawyer’s role might be relatively simple. However, their expertise becomes invaluable when disputes over the will or substantial estate debt arise.

When to Get a Probate Lawyer

Hiring a probate lawyer is worthwhile unless the deceased’s estate is minimal and conflict-free. Probate lawyers are instrumental when complex estate plans and disputes among beneficiaries exist.

In these situations, probate lawyers can help negotiate agreements and ensure you follow all applicable procedural requirements.

Finally, they are invaluable when the executor of the will is out of state, or when the decedent dies without a will. 

#1 – Type “Best Probate Lawyer Near Me” or “Great Probate Lawyer” into Your Search Engine of Choice 

Internet searches are a good starting point for exploring local legal talent.

It’s likely to yield various results, including law firm websites, legal directories, and individual attorney profiles. While this method can offer a broad overview, it’s essential to be discerning.

Online rankings and listings are frequently the target of subtle and manipulative advertising and marketing efforts. Therefore, consider these results as a preliminary step in your search. 

#2 – Narrow Your Search Down to Firms that Have Experience with Your Issue

The next step is to refine your search to those with specific experience for your situation.

Probate law covers a surprisingly broad array of scenarios, ranging from simple estate distributions to more complex litigation cases. Investigate the backgrounds and expertise of the firms or attorneys you’re considering.

Look for those who have handled cases similar to yours and have a proven track record in that area. Many law firm websites detail the types of cases they have managed and their areas of specialization.

It’s also worthwhile to check if the attorneys have published articles, given talks, or participated in seminars about probate topics similar to your needs. These signs strongly indicate the attorney’s expertise and standing in the legal community.

#3 – Determine How Many Years of Practice the Firm Has

Evaluating the longevity and experience of a probate law firm is a critical step in your selection process. The years a firm has been practicing can give you a sense of its stability, reputation in the legal community, and depth of expertise.

Firms with a long history in probate law will likely encounter a wide range of situations, giving them the insights they need to handle complex or unexpected issues effectively. However, it’s also vital to balance experience with current practice trends.

Ensure the firm keeps up with the evolving nature of probate law by checking its blog and recent news.

Plenty of updates and posts indicate their commitment to staying informed and adaptable. You can easily find how long the firm has been practicing on the firm’s website.

Remember, a firm with a substantial track record can offer the reassurance of time-tested expertise and knowledge.

#4 – Assess Each Firm’s Client Testimonials and Online Reviews

Client testimonials and online reviews are invaluable for gaining insights into a probate law firm’s performance and client satisfaction. These firsthand accounts highlight the firm’s approach to client service, communication, and effectiveness.

Look for reviews and testimonials on the firm’s website, legal directories, and other third-party review sites.

Pay attention to comments about the lawyers’ responsiveness, empathy, understanding of the law, and ability to achieve favorable outcomes. It’s also helpful to see how the firm handles negative reviews.

For instance, do they respond professionally and constructively? Do they address the negative comments or ignore them altogether? The firm’s response is often a good indicator of its commitment to client satisfaction and professionalism.

That said, keep in mind that online reviews should be just one factor in your decision-making process, as they can sometimes be subjective or not fully representative of the firm’s capabilities.

#5 – Consult Other Legal Professionals for Recommendations

Leveraging the insights of other legal professionals is another clever strategy for finding the best probate lawyer. Regardless of their specialty, attorneys have a network of peers across different fields.

They’re happy to provide recommendations according to their professional interactions and the reputations of their colleagues. If you’ve worked with a lawyer in another capacity, ask them for a referral to a probate attorney.

Legal professionals will likely refer to lawyers whose work they respect and trust, offering you a more reliable option than an online search.

These recommendations come with the benefit of a professional’s endorsement, so it’s a solid testament to the probate lawyer’s competence and credibility.

This method of seeking referrals taps into a wealth of unadvertised expertise and can lead you to distinguished probate attorneys you might not have initially noticed.

Learn Why Massingill Rises Above the Competition

We know you can select many different firms for probate matters. After all, there is far more than one probate attorney in Austin, Texas. However, some firms stand out from the rest.

Massingill is one of those firms. Our overriding passion is to make all kinds of legal matters easy to understand. We prioritize customer service and transparent pricing practices.

Our firm only charges flat fees, so you know what you can expect to pay upfront. In all stages of the legal process, having our customers’ trust and confidence is vital. Skeptical? That’s okay.

Take a moment to check out our countless five-star Google reviews and enthusiastic testimonials. Once you’re ready, call 512-580-9525 or contact us online to get going.

Where You Can Find Our Austin, TX Office

Author Photo

Joshua Massingill

Joshua Massingill is an attorney practicing in Austin, Texas. He serves on the Texas State Bar’s Law Practice Management Committee, the Leander Educational Excellence Foundation (LEEF) Board of Directors, and the Success-Werx Board of Advisors. He mentors young entrepreneurs in Leander ISD’s INCubatorEDU program and is active in his church.

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