David P. Johnson, JD, BCS, CPA, CFP, CLU, ChFC received his Bachelor of Business Administration degree with distinction from the University of Michigan in 1978, and his Juris Doctor... more
David P. Johnson, JD, BCS, CPA, CFP, CLU, ChFC received his Bachelor of Business Administration degree with distinction from the University of Michigan in 1978, and his Juris Doctor degree from Wayne State University in 1983. Prior to his 26 years in the private practice of law, he was an attorney-CPA with "Big Eight" accounting firms and a Trust Officer with Northern Trust. He has been con... 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.