How To Choose The Right Probate Attorney

Are you inheriting a house via the probate process? If so, the legal process can be long and arduous. The probate process is not only long but can be expensive hence why you need the best probate attorney. The better your probate attorney the better and faster the case can proceed. Follow these tips for finding the best attorney for the job!

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Get Personal Referrals

Probate Attorney Referrals
Referrals are great way to find the right attorney. Ask friends, colleagues, and others that were happy with their probate lawyer.

Talk to people who have experience with kind of problem or service you seek. Inquire from them which probate attorney assisted them and their opinion of them. If you got about half a dozen personal referrals from your community, chances are high that you will get a worthy lead.

Check Their Background

Before hiring any probate attorney, get in touch with the respective lawyer’s disciplinary agencies and confirm if they are in good standing. If you picked the attorney through the Internet, always check references. Additionally, you can check how his or her peers rate them online. Peer review ratings are an excellent and objective indicator of the professional ability and ethical standards of a lawyer as they are generated from evaluations by members of the US judiciary and members of the bar.

Experience Level

While trust is important, equally important is having an attorney that has extensive experience in probate matters. Does the attorney possess the necessary expertise in other areas related to probate matters like estate planning and trusts? Nothing beats experience hence why it’s vital to get a lawyer who is familiar with the local probate and real estate laws.

Your Special Needs

Remember all probate cases are not similar. Does the probate attorney possess special skills needed to handle your unique circumstances? Is the attorney for example, licensed to practice in other states in case your matter traverses more than a single state?

Seek An Appointment

After narrowing down your list of potential attorneys seek to meet several in person. Of course, good attorneys are quite busy and as such may not have too much to spend on prospective clients. However, if it takes too long for them to meet you, this could be an indication that they could be too busy to give your probate case the attention it deserves.

Tour Their Office

You can learn a lot about a probate lawyer from their law office. Once you secure the appointment, request a tour of their office, beyond where the initial meeting is taking place. Is the office professional home office attorneyorderly, neat, well-run and efficient? Does the support staff appear helpful and friendly? Red flags to watch out for include empty offices, unhappy members of staff, general office disorganization.

Interpersonal Chemistry

Another very vital aspect when selecting your probate lawyer is interpersonal chemistry. Prior to engaging him or her, seek to meet them face-to-face.  It’s important that you are comfortable with your attorney at the personal level. Simply because he knows all about probate matters doesn’t mean he is your best option.  How approachable are they? Are they friendly? Do they make you feel comfortable or intimidated? Besides being an expert, a good attorney is also adept at counseling and helping clients. Here are questions Avvo suggests:

If you retain a particular attorney, who will perform most of the work on your case – the attorney you meet with? Another attorney? An inexperienced attorney right out of law school? A paralegal? A secretary? What is the firm’s policy for returning inquiries from clients?

Confirm The Fees

While it is generally impossible for an attorney to quote for you an exact fee for your probate case before they even hear about the case particulars, they should at least be ready to give you an estimate of the fee range. Be cautious of someone that quotes for you some fixed fee even before they meet you and discuss your particular case. Probably they charge every client the same fee because everybody gets the same generic treatment or plan.

What are reasonable attorney fees? To figure out of you are been charged a fair price, call around to several local attorneys to see what the market rate is. Also consider  how complex the probate litigation is. The more complex litigation (for example, with multiple heirs contesting distributions, creditors making claims, or high value assets) you can expect to pay higher rates for the skill needed to work the case. Lastly, figure out an estimate of the amount of hours the litigation will likely take.

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10 responses to “How To Choose The Right Probate Attorney

  1. Thanks for saying that you would want to consider setting an appointment when choosing a probate lawyer. It would be good to consider this because it would ensure they are qualified. My brother is looking for a probate lawyer, so he’ll have to set an appointment first.

  2. Basically, as your article suggests, getting a probate attorney can make the process of claiming one’s inheritance a lot easier and faster. That is perfect to have learned as my friend might need this since she’s having issues claiming the land that was supposed to be hers by inheritance. I’ll be sure to recommend and help her find a potentially reliable probate attorney for her case. Thanks!

  3. There really are a lot of factors that you have to look into when choosing a probate attorney. I really like that one of the ones that the article brings up is their experience level. After all, the more experience that a probate attorney has the faster they’ll be able to help you.

  4. My husband and I are looking for a great probate attorney that will be able to help us organize our will. So thanks for advising that we visit the attorney’s office so that you can see if it has friendly staff members and if it is organized. We will definitely have to take a tour of the probate attorney’s office we are considering so that we can get to know them a little bit.

  5. It was great how you suggested asking the attorney if I can see their office during the initial meeting because the way their office and staff looked like will tell me a lot about the quality of their service. I guess it will be easy enough to ask the attorney to give me a tour around their office. I will make sure to do that because my grandmother asked me to hire a probate attorney for her, and I want to make sure that I choose only the best one for her. Thank you for providing the info!

  6. I appreciate your suggestion to visit the attorney’s office so that you can be sure it is kept organized and the staff is friendly. Since my Russian uncle just had his first baby, he is wondering how to find the best probate lawyer to help him with his will. I’ll be sure to tell my Russian uncle that he should visit each probate lawyer he is considering so that he can be sure everyone will be friendly there.

  7. I agree that you need to consider how much experience a probate lawyer has. Finding someone who has the right experience would be really helpful. My sister needs a probate lawyer, so we’ll have to check their experience.

  8. My parents are getting older and they want to make sure that their will is prepared for when they pass away, so they are thinking about hiring a probate attorney. It makes a lot of sense that you should set up an appointment with potential lawyers so that you can get to know them and my parents can find out if they will be easy to work with. Also, in my opinion, it is important for my parents to choose an attorney who specializes in probate and estate cases because they will have the most knowledge and experience.

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