The administration of an estate through probate or otherwise requires special skills. The process requires accounting skills, forensic accounting, valuation skills, litigation skills, federal, state, and local income tax knowledge and estate tax knowledge.
An estate attorney needs to have a strong working knowledge in tax laws, IRA distribution rules, knowledge of investments and finances, and an in-depth knowledge of property and real estate law. There is also skill required in family counseling and negotiating. Most attorneys, who practice in the area of estate planning and estate administration, spend a significant amount of time in the area. Therefore, you want to look for an attorney who has experience in probate and estate administration.
A good starting point is to look to the attorney who drafted the will. Sometimes, the attorney who did the original will is no longer practicing. Other times, the will was prepared by a family lawyer as a part of a divorce, but that attorney does not administer estates. Fifty percent of the people who die in the State of Ohio, die without a will. In those cases, there is no prior relationship with an attorney. Many families are starting from scratch when it comes to finding an estate attorney.
The sources to find an attorney to probate an estate or administer an estate are as follows:
- Contact Us: If you are in Hamilton County, Butler County, Clermont County or Warren County.
- Local Bar Association – Lawyer Referral Service
- Referral from a CPA, financial advisor, or your bank.