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Do I need a probate attorney?

Douglasville, GA |

My mother passed away intestate in June 2013. I petitioned to be granted Letters of Administration. My sister and her lawyer contested it. A Caveat hearing is now schedule for the first of October. I don't have extensive income to afford a lawyer but I don't want to chance losing against her. My mothers siblings (my aunts and uncles) have said they plan to support me at the hearing but I want a sure chance to have a good outcome in this situation as I have through my own research found out that my sister forged by mothers signature to obtain her belongings. My mothers estate is located in Douglas County, Georgia.

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Attorney answers 3


I'm sorry for your loss. To be frank, a case where the other side has a lawyer and you don't is about like walking into a gun battle where one side has an assault weapon and you have a butter knife. You might do okay, but your odds are very low.

Sit down with a lawyer to evaluate your case, and whether it is worth pursuing and what it will cost to pursue. You needed a lawyer even for an UNCONTESTED probate. You definitely need one now.

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I agree that going in pro se is a huge risk. If you win you likely can use estate funds to pay your legal fees but if you lose you are probably out of pocket for the fees so you have to decide if you want to fight with a lawyer on your side.

This is not legal advice nor intended to create an attorney-client relationship. The information provided here is informational in nature only. This attorney may not be licensed in the jurisdiction which you have a question about so the answer could be only general in nature. Visit Steve Zelinger's website:


Yes, you need a lawyer. I am sorry to hear about your situation, but you need an experienced probate litigator. I suggest you give Glen Ashman a call. He's got the knowledge and he is near your area. Best wishes to you.

This answer is not intended to provide you with specific legal advice regarding your situation, or to create any attorney-client relationship. The intent is only to provide general information. You should be aware that you cannot rely on this answer to provide you with any protection against tax penalties. You should always consult your own attorney in order to obtain legal advice.

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