How Language Factors
Affect Asian-Americans in Probate Court

Legal Translation Services for Probate Cases

The U.S. Constitution guarantees equal access to the judicial system. However, according to a recent study conducted by the Asian American Lawyers Association of Massachusetts, some of the leading causes of impeding Asian-Americans’ equal access are the language barriers and cultural differences that exists between East and West cultures.1

This is particularly true when your Asian-American client is going through probate.

The process of probate presents a unique language and cultural challenge because Probate Court often requires the client to personally explain specific issues directly to the judge. For example, only the client can explain such information as the backgrounds of various debts and assets. Having the judge understand this information is essential to the probate process.

In order to ensure this information is not lost due to a language or cultural barrier, it is necessary for you to hire a foreign language interpreter who understands both the language and the culture of your Asian-American client.

If the judge is unable to fully understand the information provided by your foreign client, they will be unable to fairly determine such fundamental issues as equitable partition of the marital estate. A professional foreign language interpreter will ensure that your client’s message delivered in Bangla (Bengali), Cantonese, Gujarati, Hindi, Hmong, Indonesian, Japanese, Khmer (Cambodian), Korean, Lao, Malay, Mandarin Chinese, Marathi, Mongolian, Myanmar (Burmese), Punjabi, Tagalog, Taiwanese, Tamil, Telugu, Thai, Urdu, or Vietnamese, is clearly communicated and understood by the judge.

This will allow the judge to make a knowledgeable and fair decision, thus giving your client equal access to the judicial system.

1. See Van Ta, Tai. “Language and Cultural Factors Affecting Asians’ Situation in Probate and Family Courts.” Asian American Lawyers Association of Massachusetts News. Vol. XX, No. 2. May, 2005.

Up Next: Certified Document Translations and
Admitting Foreign Language Translations
as Documentary Evidence