The short answer is Yes. There are two reasons why – the legal one, and the practical one:
- Legally, in Missouri, and most other states, you must be a licensed attorney in order to represent anyone except yourself. In a probate proceeding you are representing the “estate”, even if there is only one child or heir involved. Don’t fight it, it won’t work.
- The practical reason is that only a very small minorityof people would be able to get through the form preparation, filings, settlements, and other documents that are required in probate. Although nobody likes paying lawyer fees, it’s not like you are simply paying for nothing. The process does have some logic to it, but until you’ve been through it several times the logic may not be so clear.
So, grin and bear it. Not much else to do. Just make sure you get the lawyer you want to work with, and that you understand what’s going on in terms of the process, time, and expense. There are lots of lawyers out there, you should work one that you like.
Visit our Missouri Probate Website for more information, or email us if you prefer.