“I Have to Use the Lawyer Who Drafted My Parent’s Will

to Probate the Estate.”

By: Joan Reed Wilson, Esq.

In the past week, we have received calls from two different clients whom we had helped in the past. Each of them called because they were in the process of probating their parents estates and both were quite frustrated and wanted our advice. They each said that they had hired the attorney who had drafted the parent’s Will and were not happy with the services. When I asked them why they did not contact us in the first place, they both responded that they thought that they HAD to use the attorney who drafted the Will. This is false.
In some cases, an attorney who drafts a Will holds on to the original. Historically this was done for safety purposes, but it means that the attorney has to be contacted when the person passes away because it is necessary to file the original Will with the Probate Court. In those cases, you will have to contact the attorney who drafted the Will to obtain the original. If calling that attorney would be awkward and uncomfortable for the named Executor, the new attorney can prepare a letter for the Executor to sign and mail to the attorney holding the original Will. We prepare such letters regularly for probate and estate planning clients who want to obtain original documents from an attorney.
Just because an attorney drafted the Will and is holding the original does not mean that the named Executor has to hire that attorney for the probate administration. The Executor has the right to choose his or her own attorney to assist with the probate process. The choice is yours!