What is a Probate Lawyer?

probate lawyer

When managing a deceased loved one’s affairs, the term “probate lawyer” often becomes a crucial part of the conversation. But what exactly is a probate lawyer, and when might you need one?

A probate lawyer, also known as a probate attorney or estate attorney, is a legal professional who specializes in handling estate matters, including the probate process. Probate is the legal procedure through which a deceased person’s estate is properly distributed to heirs and designated beneficiaries, and payment to creditors.

When Do You Need a Probate Lawyer?

Knowing when to engage a probate lawyer is essential. Here are some scenarios where their expertise is invaluable:

  1. Complex Estate: If the deceased’s estate is large or complex, involving various types of assets, a probate lawyer can help navigate the intricacies.
  2. Disputed Will: In cases where someone contests the will, a probate attorney can represent your interests in court.
  3. No Will: If the deceased didn’t leave a will, an estate planning attorney can guide you through the state’s laws regarding inheritance.
  4. Debts Exceed Assets: A lawyer for a will can provide advice on how to proceed if the estate’s debts surpass its assets.

How Can a Probate Attorney Help?

Wills and estate lawyers play a pivotal role in easing the probate process. Here’s how they can assist:

  1. Legal Guidance: They provide expert advice on estate laws and ensure compliance with all legal procedures.
  2. Document Preparation: They handle all the paperwork from filing the will in court to preparing necessary documents for asset transfer.
  3. Estate Management: They help in inventory the estate’s assets, pay off debts, and distribute the remaining assets.
  4. Litigation: If disputes arise, your attorney can represent you in court and defend your rights and interests.

A probate lawyer is key to probating a will smoothly and managing estate affairs. Their expertise ensures legal compliance and peace of mind during a challenging time. If you find yourself in a complex estate situation or facing legal uncertainties after the death of a loved one, consulting with a probate attorney is a wise step forward. The compassionate and experienced McCutchen McLean, LLC team is here to help. Reach out today to schedule a free consultation.

Writing a Will: Your Most Important New Year’s Resolution

writing a will

As the new year unfolds, it’s time to prioritize a task that most people try to avoid: writing a will. In South Carolina, as in many places, estate planning is the best way to protect your family after you’re gone. It’s not just about distributing your assets; it’s about ensuring the future security and peace of mind for your loved ones.

The Importance of Writing a Will

The new year presents a perfect opportunity to take the leap into writing a will if you’ve been in denial or avoidant about it. The start of a new year is symbolic of new beginnings and resolutions. It’s a time to focus on what truly matters, and there’s nothing more significant than safeguarding your family’s future.

Estate planning in SC can be complex. This is where the expertise of a lawyer becomes invaluable. A lawyer can help navigate the nuances of state laws, ensuring your will is legally binding and reflective of your wishes. They can provide guidance on difficult decisions, such as appointing a guardian for your children or allocating your assets. A lawyer’s involvement brings professionalism and thoroughness that is difficult to achieve on your own.

Writing a will with a lawyer can prevent future disputes among family members. It can also help minimize the likelihood of an argument or contestation over your will. It’s not just about what you leave behind, but providing clarity and peace of mind to your loved ones.

As you list your resolutions for the new year, place “writing a will” at the top. With a lawyer’s aid, estate planning in South Carolina is a proactive step toward protecting your family’s future. Don’t let another year pass without ensuring the care of your legacy and loved ones. Get started by contacting the experienced and compassionate legal team at McCutchen McLean, LLC today.



James McCutchen drafted our estate planning documents and he did a fantastic job. The entire process was easy and affordable. I highly recommend James for any of your estate planning or probate needs.



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I recently had a tax issue with the IRS. I called McCutchen McClean law firm and they were able to fit me in quickly. They sat down with me, reviewed all the documents, listened to my concerns, and gave me wonderful advice as to how to fix the issue. They were friendly and understanding. Now, my tax issue is resolved, taking a HUGE weight off my mind. I would recommend them for any tax issue you may have! The service, hospitality, knowledge, and professionalism was outstanding!



We recently used James McCutchen and we could not be any happier! He was very kind, thorough when answering all of our questions and the best part of all we got everything completed pretty quickly. We highly recommend James. Thanks again for everything!



I have referred several clients to them. My clients are very happy with the outstanding, timely service they receive. James and Robin are extremely smart and professional, yet speak in "plain english" so everyone walks away educated regarding their tax, estate or family law issue.



Smart people that do great work.



I used Robin McLean as an attorney to secure a divorce about 20 months ago. I found her to be efficient, reasonably priced, and very well skilled. I was completely happy with her work. She did what she said. Since that time, I needed additional help with paperwork and she responded promptly and to my complete satisfaction. I highly recommend Robin as an attorney.


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