Attorney James C. Bates graduated from the University of Akron School of Law and has... more
Attorney James C. Bates graduated from the University of Akron School of Law and has focused on the estate planning and elder law field for over a decade. He recently appeared before the Ohio Supreme Court challenging the States collections practices with regard to estate recovery and wrote an article on the topic for the OSBA Law You Can Use series. Jim is the author of The Basics of Trust Pl... 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.