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Consultation: What to Expect?

Probate Attorney Consultation: Three Types of Clients?

Probate Consultation: What to Bring?

Pre-appointment of Executor/ Administrator: Expected Discussion?

Post appointment of Executor/ Administrator: Expected Discussion?

Probate, Estate or Trust Beneficiary: Expected Discussion?

Probate Attorney: Ways to Retain?

Probate Attorney Services Generally Listed





Q: Probate Attorney Consultation: Three Types of Clients?

Depending on the type of Client, the Probate Attorney may ask for different information to be made available at the initial probate attorney consultation. Typically, the meeting will be with one of the following persons: 

(i) a person seeking appointment as Executor/ Administrator 

(ii) an already appointed Executor or Administrator or 

(iii) a probate, estate or trust beneficiary. 


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Q: Probate Consultation: What to Bring?

Depending on the type of Client, the Probate Attorney may ask for different information to be made available to the Probate Attorney during the consultation (see below). However, the Probate Attorney knows that the following information may not always be immediately available.

(i) If an Executor or Administrator hasn't been appointed yet, the Probate Attorney should briefly review any available Will, Trust and other testamentary documents, list of heirs and their respective interests, estate debt, and the decedent’s assets to determine what assets are probate and non-probate assets. 

(ii) If the probate consultation is with an already appointed Executor or Administrator, the Probate Attorney should also briefly review the information noted immediately above. In addition, the Probate Attorney should review any threatening demand letters from the Commissioner of Accounts, the Court, beneficiaries, creditors, and any already filed probate documents (Affidavit of Notice, Inventory, Probate Accountings, ect.). 

(iii) If the probate consultation is with a probate beneficiary, estate beneficiary or trust beneficiary, the Probate Attorney should review any of the decedent's Wills, Trusts and other testamentary documents. In addition, the Probate Attorney should have the prospective client identify the decedent's probate and non-probate assets and identify any competing claims to the decedent's property.  


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Q: Pre-appointment of Executor/ Administrator: Expected Discussion?

During the initial probate consultation, if a probate estate has not yet been opened, and an Executor/ Administrator has not been appointed, the Probate Attorney should determine if the formal appointment of an Executor/ Administrator is advisable.

This is a critical point because frequently individuals open up a probate estate unnecessarily. If formal probate is advisable, the Probate Attorney should advise as to the least expensive and most advisable method of probating the estate. If probate is not necessary, the attorney should advice as to non-probate asset transfer and tax related issues (winding up non-probate estate). 


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Q: Post appointment of Executor/ Administrator: Expected Discussion?

Typically, the Probate Attorney’s first contact the Executor/ Administrator concerns threats from beneficiaries or the Commissioner of Accounts. The Probate Attorney should advise and provide assistance as to resolving any immediate issues.

In addition, the Probate Attorney should provide guidance for best practices for moving forward. Including but not limited to proper information collection, documentation, investment, distributions, and other associated actions necessary to satisfy the probate court and Commissioner of Accounts. The Probate Attorney should also advise as to upcoming deadlines, tasks and identify risk mitigation strategies.


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Q: Probate, Estate or Trust Beneficiary: Expected Discussion?

The Probate Attorney’s initial meeting with a beneficiary usually focuses around some type of dispute with the appointed Executor/ Administrator, Trustee or Will Contest. However, the probate meeting may also involve no dispute whatsoever. It may be limited to the beneficiary merely asserting their rights as a spouse or creditor. 

The Probate Attorney will review the provided information and assess the beneficiary's legal rights and claims. In addition, the Probate Attorney may be able to provide an outlook on the expected success rate, timeframe and estimate of costs with regards to asserting said claims under a varying scenarios.


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Q: Probate Attorney: Ways to Retain?

The Probate Attorney may serve in one of the following roles: 

  • The Probate Attorney may serve as the Executor, Administrator or Curator of the decedent’s estate.
  • The Probate Attorney may complete the process on behalf of an appointed Executor/Administrator. This works best when for clients who want to collect the Fiduciary Fee and best shield themselves from liability while performing the least amount of work.
  • The Probate Attorney may also serve a purely advisory role to the appointed Executor, Administrator or beneficiary (probate, estate or trust).
  • The Probate Attorney may engage in affirmative or defensive litigation with regards to an estate, Executor/ Administrator or probate, estate or Trust beneficiary. 


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Q: Probate Attorney Services Generally Listed

Probate Attorney Services

a)  Review of Will/Trust, list of assets, heirs, debts, ect.

b)  Initial meeting & advice with regards to the proper probate procedure

c)  Serve as Executor, Administrator or Curator

d)  Representation of Beneficiary

e)  Create Probate Schematic outlining critical tasks & deadlines (Inventory, Probate Notices, Notice Affidavit,  Probate Accountings, Federal & State tax assistance)

f)   Assistance and legal counseling for completing the necessary probate documents

g)  Assistance dealing with financial institutions, beneficiaries, and the IRS

h)  Facilitating the inception of an estate account with federal tax info

i)    Mediator with the Commissioner of Accounts and Probate Court

j)    Facilitating the transfer, bonds, and receipts necessary for probate distributions

k)  Assisting with probate related issues, litigation & risk mitigation

l)    Winding up and closing the estate


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The Lenzi Law Firm, PLLC assists clients throughout Northern Virginia and Washington D.C. including Fort Washington, Falls Church, Ft. Myer, Vienna, Rosslyn, Springfield, Mount Vernon, Annandale, Fort Belvoir, Fairfax, Dunn Loring, Merrifield, McLean, Oakton, Reston, Burke, Great Falls, Fredericksburg, Stafford and Herndon in Arlington County, Alexandria County, & Fairfax County.



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