The Role of a Deceased Estate Lawyer

23 January 2019
 Categories: Law, Blog


Beneficiaries often have a difficult time settling a deceased person's estate. A deceased estate lawyer is an individual that helps beneficiaries understand the terms of the will and divide the deceased person's assets. Below is a short guide on the role of a deceased estate lawyer

Locating the will

The deceased estate lawyer will establish if your loved one had a will. Also, he or she will ensure that the will meets the minimum legal requirements. If the person died without a will, then the state decides how the property will be divided. In such cases, the lawyer will help you file for a Grant of Letters of Administration in the Supreme Court. 

Advising the executor and beneficiaries

Sometimes, the person named as executor may not have sufficient understanding of his or her role. As such, the lawyer works in conjunction with the executor to file probate, establish the deceased person's assets, settle debts, claim life insurance and file taxes. If the deceased person had set up trusts, the lawyer helps the beneficiaries understand the terms of the trust. For example, will the beneficiaries receive profits from the trust? When will the beneficiaries inherit assets placed under the trust? Can the beneficiaries lose their rights to the trust?   

Conflict resolution

Some members of the family might opt to contest the will in court. In such cases, the deceased estate lawyer will advise you on the due process. Besides, he or she can also tell you the likely outcome of the court process. For instance, it is possible to lose some of your inheritance in a court case. 

Property management and division

If the deceased person had a vast estate, a deceased estate lawyer helps in its management before it is divided among the beneficiaries. The lawyer will also help the beneficiaries file paperwork required to transfer assets such as land, vehicles, and buildings into their names.

Property sale and valuation

You may need to sell some of the deceased person's estate to settle outstanding debts. Also, some of the beneficiaries may opt to sell off their inheritance. A deceased estate lawyer will help you conduct property valuation, advertise the property, draft contracts of sale and finalise the sale of such property. 

The primary roles of a deceased estate lawyer are to locate the will, resolve conflict, and advice executors and beneficiaries. The lawyer is also involved in property management, division, sale, and valuation.