KJK Partner Susan Friedman Shares Insights on the Probate Process in Conversation with Cleveland Jewish News

November 9, 2023

KJK Estate, Wealth and Succession Planning Partner Susan Friedman recently spoke with Cleveland Jewish News regarding the intricacies of the probate process and the strategies employed by attorneys to facilitate a seamless asset transfer.

Friedman emphasized the potential challenges associated with probate court, including its costliness, time-consuming nature, and the fact that it becomes public record. As a result, probate attorneys often strive to guide their clients towards methods that circumvent probate. Notably, many probate attorneys also serve as estate planning attorneys, assisting clients in crafting comprehensive estate plans that frequently involve strategies for avoiding probate altogether.

Friedman suggested a potential client looking for a probate attorney ask how long an attorney has been practicing in the probate field; what fees are involved, and how and when those fees will be paid; who their main point of contact will be and whether other staff at the firm will be involved in the case; whether the attorney has experience with the specific court handling the case; what documents will be needed; and how long they anticipate the process taking.

For individuals seeking a probate attorney, Friedman suggested asking several pertinent questions to make an informed decision.

“Probate attorneys face constant challenges throughout the process,” Friedman said. “There are often issues involving banks, investment advisers and insurance companies relating to assets, for example. Many times, there are difficult family dynamics to pay attention to. Disagreements can also lead to contentious litigation and will contests. Experienced attorneys can address challenges as issues arise and know when to delegate or seek additional assistance.”

The probate process can appear intricate and daunting, particularly for those unacquainted with its nuances. For further assistance regarding obtaining a probate attorney, please contact Susan Friedman (SLF@kjk.com; 216.736.7272).

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