Linda S. Durston, Ph.D., J.D., practicesestate, special needs and incapacity... more
Linda S. Durston, Ph.D., J.D., practicesestate, special needs and incapacity planning, probate and trust administration, conservatorship and guardianship law, and other aspects of Elder Law. She has a strong background in public benefits administration. Ms. Durston is a member of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys, California Advocates for Nursing Home Reform, the Berkeley-Alban... view profile
Probate is the legal process used to carry out a person's will after their death; a probate attorney advises you on how to perform the steps in the process. In general, once you have identified and collected the dead person's belongings, including their money, property, and other assets, you pay the person's debts and taxes. Once all debts have been paid, you distribute their money and property according to the language of the will. If there is no will, the laws of the state where the dead person lived control how the property is distributed. A probate attorney helps you plan what happens to your property when you die, as they can probate wills and act as your probate court estate representative. A probate attorney also represents family members and beneficiaries wishing to challenge wills.