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Choosing an attorney for probate litigation

4/1/2016 | Kaplin Stewart Blog

When a Pennsylvania resident has a need for a probate attorney, many are unsure how to find a professional to assist in their cases. It is easy to assume that any attorney who practices estate planning will also handle probate litigation, but these two areas of law are actually very different. In order to reach the best possible outcome, individuals must find an attorney whose practice and skill set is a good match for their needs.

One thing to consider is the level of experience that an attorney has in probate litigation. While many attorneys will handle an occasional probate litigation case in addition to their regular workload, others will make this form of law a significant focus within their practice. It is important to choose an attorney who has the training and experience to handle probate litigation.

Another issue to consider is how familiar an attorney is with the local judicial staff. Attorneys who primarily handle estate planning matters and rarely see the inside of a courtroom are not always prepared to handle a serious probate litigation case. Having a working knowledge of the judge, opposing attorneys and general courtroom procedure is essential to a favorable outcome.

In looking for a probate attorney, Pennsylvania residents should not overlook the human factor. Attorneys work in a relatively limited environment in which judges, courtroom staff and other legal professionals also function. Choosing an attorney who is active in the area can make a world of difference in gaining a judge’s consideration if the case encounters any unforeseen difficulties.

Source:, “Estate and pre-planning guide: Picking a probate lawyer“, March 22, 2016