Differences Between a Probate Attorney and An Estate Planning Attorney


The easiest way to differentiate a probate lawyer from an estate planning lawyer is by understanding how they work in before-and-after terms. Estate planning lawyers are hired before death for helping out in the development of estate plans and division of assets.


On the other hand, probate lawyers help families and estate administrators validate and oversee the administration of a will in probate court after a person’s death. Let’s discuss some differences to help you understand this better.


A Probate Lawyer

A probate lawyer will assist in the division of estate and assets among your beneficiaries. They will also help administer your will and pay off debts after your death. The probate court usually oversees the process of validating a will before the judge.


You may need to work out a plan with an estate planning attorney to self-validate your will in front of signed witnesses. Additionally, you must also have the will notarized by a certified notary, to avoid it from getting tied up in probate court.


If your will is self-validated it can still be opposed by your family members. In this case, the probate judge will decide whether you were of sound mind when you signed the will and the documents were authenticated.


Dealing with the probate court is challenging and stressful. This is especially difficult for the families of the deceased who didn’t make a will or planned the division of assets and estate among the beneficiaries. The planning needs to be done with an estate planning attorney before death and without a will, the probate judge will preside over the process.


In case a loved one dies without developing and validating a will, a probate lawyer can navigate through the complex legal processes of the probate court.


A Estate Planning Attorney

An estate planning attorneys can help create a plan for the assets and estate after or before your death. The operational word here is “planning.” A good planning attorney is familiar with all the state laws that are relevant to your estate and can help you create a robust plan that’s less likely to be invalidated or contested in probate court.

An estate planning attorney will also assist you with drafting your will. They can help you decide how to properly divide assets and estate among the beneficiaries and when they’ll receive what you have left for them. What’s more, they can also help beneficiaries minimize estate taxes after your death.


An estate planning attorneys will help you develop and plan a living will if you were to become incapacitated. The living will provide the person you choose with your power of attorney. It also directs healthcare providers about what they need to do if you become seriously ill.


Expressing everything in a living will also helps your beneficiaries avoid arguments about life support in case of an emergency.




Hire An Estate Planning Lawyer in Columbus, Ohio

When deciding to plan the division of estate and assets ahead of time, you need to choose an experienced lawyer with appropriate legal knowledge. McLeskey Law Offices is an estate planning firm in Columbus, Ohio, that has been counseling clients in legal matters for more than 40 years.


We have experience in certain areas of law primarily, creditors’ rights law but we can also handle civil litigation and estate planning. Our probate attorney services, civil litigation attorney services, and creditors’ rights attorney services will help you achieve the best outcome that benefits you and your beneficiaries. Contact us today to learn more about our legal services.

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