Over 2,854,000 people die in the US each year. Losing a loved one can leave a gaping hole in your life. Trying to decipher their will and organize their assets without help can add additional stress.
Instead, consider hiring a probate lawyer. They’ll walk you through every step of the process. With their help, you can keep some of the stress off your shoulders.
They’ll ensure you follow the process fairly, even through your grief.
Here are seven factors to keep in mind before choosing probate lawyers. With these tips, you can find someone with the experience you need. They’ll simplify the process for everyone involved.
Start vetting your probate lawyer options with these simple tips today.
Before choosing probate lawyers, talk to your friends and family members. Ask them if they’ve hired a probate lawyer in the past. They might help point you in the right direction.
If they have, ask about their experience with the probate lawyer. For example, you can ask:
- Were they professional and knowledgeable
- Did they struggle to answer your questions
- Were they easy to understand
- Did they give you peace of mind
- Were they organized and efficient
- Would you recommend I hire someone else
If your friends and family can’t point you in the right direction, that’s okay. Search for “probate lawyer near me” online. Check the Martindale-Hubbel directory, too.
Then, make a list of options.
As you review your probate lawyer options, make sure to visit your local bar association website. Make sure each lawyer on your list is licensed to practice in the state. If their license is out-of-date, scratch them off your list.
You can feel confident in a lawyer who has the proper credentials.
Before choosing a lawyer, it’s important to learn more about each professional’s history. First, determine how long they’ve practiced law. Consider how long they’ve practiced in the area, too.
It’s important to find someone who has experience with probate in the area. Some laws can vary based on your location.
Once you find an experienced lawyer, consider how long they’ve specialized in probate law.
You’ll have peace of mind choosing someone who specializes. They’ll have the know-how necessary to handle any situation.
Your probate lawyer will know how to prepare and execute plans while managing your assets. If anything happens, you can rely on their experience and expertise.
Your probate lawyer will help draft your will or living trust. They’ll make sure your assets are distributed as planned as well.
About 25% fewer adults have wills as of 2020 compared to those in 2017. You never know when an accident might happen. Contacting a lawyer who has experience with probate law can help.
Make sure the lawyer you choose has experience specific to your needs, too.
For example, you might need someone who can identify situations that could impact your properties or assets. An experienced lawyer can help you review your options. They can develop your full estate plan, too.
They’ll make sure your heirs receive the assets as outlined in your will.
With an experienced probate lawyer, you can avoid conflicts or confusion, even after your passing.
3. A Strong Reputation
You can learn more about each lawyer on your list by reading online reviews.
First, check the law firm’s Google My Business and Better Business Bureau listings. Read a handful of reviews from each site.
It’s normal to find one or two negative reviews. If the negative comments outweigh the good, scratch that lawyer off your list.
Instead, find a lawyer with a strong professional reputation. They’ll strive to maintain that reputation by offering the best possible services.
Pay attention to comments about how the lawyer treats their clients, too.
4. Estate Scale
Before choosing probate lawyers, consider the size of the estate. You might want to choose a lawyer who has relevant experience. The typical estate includes investments, property, and money.
With a typical estate, you can choose a lawyer who has broad experience with probate. If your estate is larger, choose a lawyer with similar experience.
Ask about the clients they’ve helped recently. Have they helped any clients with an estate as large as yours? You might feel more confident choosing a lawyer with relevant experience.
Schedule a consultation appointment with one or two lawyers on your list. During your consultation appointment, ask who you’ll work with.
Ask the lawyer about their availability. If they’re helping too many clients at once, they might pass you off to a junior lawyer. You might not work with someone who has the experience you need.
You won’t want them to pass you off to someone else at their law firm. Instead, make sure you know who you’ll work with.
A lawyer who is juggling too many clients at once might struggle to focus on your needs, too. You might struggle to contact them if they’re too busy as well.
Instead, choose a lawyer who can focus on helping you without delay.
Before choosing a lawyer, ask how they’ll keep you updated.
For example, will they call you on the phone to send an email? Will you speak with a paralegal for updates instead?
Make sure to choose a lawyer who will communicate with you. Otherwise, you might experience issues after you hire them.
If you struggle to reach them, you might not get the updates or information you need.
Make sure to ask each lawyer about their fee structure before you hire them. For example, some lawyers charge by the hour. Others use a flat fee.
Comparing lawyer costs can help you better gauge the average. Don’t make your choice based on price alone, though. Instead, take the time to review their contract in detail.
If you have any questions or concerns, ask before you sign.
Then, review your probate lawyer options to choose the best one based on your needs.
Choosing Probate Lawyers: 7 Factors to Consider During Your Search
You don’t have to hire the first lawyer you speak with. Instead, keep these seven factors in mind before choosing probate lawyers. With these tips, you can find someone with experience and expertise you can count on.
They can simplify the process every step of the way.
Searching for a probate lawyer you can count on? We’re here to help.
Get in touch today.