Choosing a probate attorney is not an easy process, especially if it is your first time hiring a probate attorney. There are certain things that one needs to know in order to get things right. A probate attorney is an expert who has experience handling probate administration and will guide you through the entire probate process. Dealing with an estate can be difficult. It is crucial to have the right person working for you to get all matters sorted. The lawyer will consult you on all the matters related to the case, including financial and legal. An experienced probate attorney will make you feel comfortable and will handle all the work for you. There are certain tips that will help you choose the best probate attorney. These are mentioned as below.
Do Not Hire the Attorney That Helped with the Deceased Person’s Will
When you hire a probate attorney, you need to keep in mind that the attorney should only work in your best interests. This is why it is not advised to hire the attorney who helped with the deceased person’s will. Do not make the mistake of hiring the same attorney who drew up the will. It might not be in your best interests to do so. Keep in mind that only an attorney who does not have any conflict of interest should be hired. The lawyer should represent you and not the estate. As you are the executor, the lawyer would hand over the original signed will to you as it is his or her responsibility.
Leverage Different Resources
If you want to find the best probate attorney, then you need to fully utilize all different resources such as social media, Google search engine, directories, customer reviews, and even personal contacts. Start your search by heading over to social media, search on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter for probate attorneys. Find out what people have to say about the attorney and how they are committed to helping clients.
The best probate attorneys tend to write about their experience in order to help others. By searching for blogs and submissions made by attorneys, you will be able to find out who are the industry leaders. Read client reviews of past experiences working with the attorney. Go through search directories to have a few attorneys to start off your search. Make sure to read about the “About” page and the case history of the firm. The firm philosophy will also be a great indicator. Keep in mind that lawyers tend to view probates as being more profitable and are more likely to work on a probate. Moreover, when you read more client reviews, you will have an idea of what type of cases the attorney works with and if your case is suitable. Finally, ask your friends if they have hired a probate attorney in the past. Your friends and colleagues will give you genuine advice on how you should hire. Keep their advice in mind.
Focus on Working Relationship
Another important tip that will make huge difference and would allow you to hire the best probate attorney is by focusing on the working relationship of the attorney. Finding an experienced and competent local attorney can be tough. Every probate court proceeding requires expert legal counsel. Finding the right attorney might be the hardest part, but by focusing on working relationships that the attorney has had, you will find the best probate attorney. As a probate proceeding can take up a lot of time, you need to have an attorney who keeps you updated regarding all the matters. Most of the time, you do not need a courtroom star but just someone who is familiar with the probate process. Besides legal knowledge, a strong working relationship is highly crucial.
Excellent Communication & Negotiation Skills
A competent attorney is one who has excellent communication and negotiation skills. However, that does not mean that one would not encounter an attorney who seems to speak some other language besides English. It can be difficult to understand what such a lawyer is saying. The key to finding the best probate attorney is finding one who has excellent communication and negotiation skills. At the end of the day, a lawyer who knows how to communicate proficiently will have no trouble convincing a judge or jury. It will help ensure that your side of the story is told perfectly. Communication is required for cases where litigation is involved. At hearings, it is only through communication that the attorney will persuade and even convince everyone that your demands are appropriate.
Understands Your Situation
The attorney should also appreciate all of your efforts. If you have educated yourself on what is expected from an executor, then the lawyer should appreciate this face. Moreover, the attorney should be fine with you working to ensure that lower fees are paid. The lawyer should understand your situation and cooperate accordingly.
When an attorney understands your situation, it will allow him or her to fight for your rights. If the lawyer lacks empathy and does not have the skills needed to understand your situation, then chances are that he or she would not be able to have a win.
Have a Few Options
Now, even if you feel like you have found the best probate attorney, you need to make sure that you have first spoken with more than just one candidate. There is nothing wrong with telling the attorney to wait until you have finalized your decision. Interview a few candidates first in order to have a few options. It will be extremely helpful if you find yourself in a situation where the desired attorney does not respond to your requests or updates you on the matters.
Do not hire an attorney simply based on a recommendation. By speaking with other probate attorneys, you will be able to determine the best probate attorney as per your requirements. Moreover, you should also consider that all probate attorneys have a different fee structure and handle cases differently.
Discuss your budget with the attorney so that there are no expectations or misunderstandings. Only a lawyer that suits your needs and budget should be hired. Furthermore, the attorney should know the laws related to estate planning. As legal fees vary from attorney to attorney, you should make sure to ask the attorney for a fee quote. It will help you decide which attorney fits your budget best.
Non-contentious probate matters tend to be procedural and it is due to this reason that the attorney will be able to offer a fixed-fee quote for such cases.
Another important tip that will help you find the best probate attorney is that you should be prepared when meeting with the attorneys. Have a list of questions prepared when you attend meetings with attorneys. It will allow you to make the most out of those sessions. Normally, the probate attorney would be happy to answer your questions and even expect you to ask questions.
Therefore, you should feel free when asking questions. However, make sure to not go overboard during the meeting. A short list of questions should be sufficient. Following are some of the questions that you can ask the attorney.
- The time duration of the probate process.
- The documents required.
- The fees for different cases.
- The experience of the attorney with handling related cases.
- Any other questions which you feel are relevant to the case.
Important Things to Consider
In order to hire the best probate attorney, there are certain important things that you need to consider. Personal recommendation goes a long way. Moreover when you ask your friends or colleagues for recommendations, they will also provide you with useful information. Lawyers.com is a great website that provides you with a list of attorneys in your area. Free searches can be conducted in your area. Only a zip code needs to be entered to find results.
Once you have a few attorneys in mind, the following factors will allow you to determine who the best probate attorney is.
- Biographical information
- Associations with state bars
- Online search results
- Payment terms
- Consideration of your special needs
Types of Probate Attorneys
Before you choose a probate attorney, you need to realize which type of probate attorney you need. There are two types of probates attorneys. There are probate litigations and transactional probate attorneys. Probate litigators represent their clients in probate lawsuits. While on the other hand, transactional probate attorneys handle all of the administrative tasks of the probate case. If there is no probate litigation, then you will need a transactional probate attorney who will handle all of the administrative work for you. As the administrative work is bureaucratic in nature, it is important to have an experienced transactional probate attorney to handle all of the work for you. It will help save time and cost.
However, if there is a dispute or litigation involved, then in such a case, a probate litigator will come in handy. The litigator will defend your rights and will protect your best interests in court. He or she will ensure that the best possible decision is reached.
The transactional probate attorney will start the probate process as soon as you contact him once the loved one has passed away. Lawyers that possess expertise in handling matters related to trusts and estate planning should be considered.
A probate litigation attorney on the other hand will help you out if you are not satisfied with the way the executor handled the will. He or she will fight for your rights and can challenge the will. If you are interested in a legal battle over the estate, then a litigator is your best option. A probate attorney who is specialized in handling matters related to probate should only be hired. Do not make the mistake of hiring an attorney who lacks the experience and expertise that are required for handling a probate case.
Cases where there is a requirement for extensive real estate holding should be handled with extra care. Real estate law is involved in such cases and the attorney should be well-aware of all the provisions related to probate.
The Importance of a Probate Attorney
The probate process takes a lot of time and is tedious in nature. If you are not familiar with the process, then you will end up spending more time dealing with the matter. This is why you need a probate attorney. The probate attorney will take the matter into his or her hands. It will help speed up the probate process and ensure that mistakes are not made or at an acceptable rate. There is no denying that it will be tough to choose best probate attorney to work on your probate case. William Simon is your best option when it comes to dealing with a probate case.
Hiring an expert probate attorney will result in the best outcome. Despite the high costs of hiring a professional probate attorney, the overall costs in the long-run would still be low. When you hire the best probate attorney such as William Simon, you can be rest assured that your case is in the right hands. William is dedicated to defending the rights of his clients towards the end. He is passionate about ensuring that needs of his clients are fully satisfied. Choose a probate attorney like William Simon if you want the best results.