You have to do your research before hiring a probate attorney, so you need to ask them some questions first. Here’s exactly what to ask to get the right one.
When someone you love passes away, there’s a lot to think about. Not only are your grieving your loss, but you are also focusing on the funeral, your family, and friends.
After the funeral ends and everyone goes back to their homes, you’ll face the task of handling your loved one’s estate. This involves hiring a probate attorney to help you through the probate process.
Probate court takes care of the assets and liabilities of the deceased, even if there isn’t a will.
Choosing the best probate attorney can seem overwhelming in such a difficult time. Fortunately, by asking some simple questions, you’ll be able to choose the lawyer that’s best for you.
Do You Practice Other Areas of Law?
Some lawyers try to be all things to all people and practice criminal law, immigration law, civil law, and more. When you choose a probate attorney, be sure to find someone who specializes in estate law.
Lawyers who don’t focus on probate and estates may be more likely to miss important details in your case or cause delays due to other commitments. If an attorney doesn’t handle very many estate law cases, you’re better off with a different lawyer.
Have You Had Similar Cases in the Past?
Every estate is different. Some are very simple, with few assets and a clear will. Others are very complex, with multiple people wanting a piece of the property.
It’s essential to find a probate lawyer who has experience with the type of estate your loved one left behind. If there’s no will, does the estate attorney know how to handle that? If there are taxation issues, what is the lawyer’s experience in that area?
By asking careful questions about experience, you can get an excellent attorney with the type of experience you need.
What Issues Might Arise in This Probate?
A skilled probate attorney will know what problems can happen in your estate situation. Maybe the lack of documentation will make it difficult to determine who owns what property. Perhaps a large amount of debt will consume the estate.
Your attorney should also be able to let you know how long he or she expects the probate to last and how to avoid delays. You may need to do some paperwork before the hearing to help clarify something or provide documentation about an issue.
How Do I Reach a Probate Attorney If I Have a Question?
Not every lawyer is easy to get hold of, and it’s essential to find someone that you can reach if you have a question. Find out if you will be expected to leave a message or if you can talk to a paralegal.
You’ll also want to discover what the process of sending and receiving paperwork will be. Does your attorney need you to drop off documents in person, or can you scan and email them? What hours is the office open?
Communication is vital to great representation, so make sure you find someone who is easy to connect with.
Going through probate is hard not just because of legal concerns, but because the loss of a loved one is a very emotional experience. Whether you need to work through a significant estate or a simple will, we can help. Contact us for a free consultation on your probate needs today.