Probate law can be confusing to some people and it generally deals with two situations. The first situation is when a will needs to be legally validated by the court. The second situation is when someone passes without leaving behind a will. However, the probate process isn’t without its own complications and potential headaches, especially in the case where a will isn’t left behind. That’s why many people turn to hire a probate lawyer to help with the process. However, there are a few things to consider before hiring a probate lawyer.
Choosing a Probate Lawyer That Fits Your Needs
When considering a probate lawyer you will want to make sure that their expertise fits your specific situation. No two wills or estate plans will be the same. In some cases, things are fairly straightforward such as the will designating certain assets to specific parties. In other cases, there may be more specific requests. In the case where there is no will in place, there may be significant contention, and having a lawyer well-adept at handling this is key. That’s why it’s crucial to ask some specific questions. Some specific questions may include:
- How long the lawyer has practiced law.
- Examples of cases they’ve worked on in the past and if they are any parallels to your case.
- How is their experience with the probate process?
In addition to ensuring they have specific experience when it comes to a case like yours, you will want to make sure that you know their fee structure and if the cost of their services is in line with your budget. Another important question to ask is how long they think the case will take and how much availability they can devote. Since lawyers can be busy, you will want to make sure that they are able to put in substantial time into resolving your case.
Putting in the Time Yourself
While a lawyer can substantially streamline the entire process of the case, there will still be some time that you’ll have to devote. Even if you’ve come to the realization that you’re not equipped to handle aspects such as filing the necessary paperwork or dealing with contention, there are still some steps you can undertake to make the process easier.
One of the first steps you should take even before hiring a probate lawyer is gathering the necessary paperwork. Some examples may include:
- Death certificate copies
- The last will and testament
- Bank statements or any other important financial documents
- An inventory of your loved one’s assets
- Information such as the names, addresses, and contact info of everyone named in the will
While you may not have all the necessary information upon your first meeting with your lawyer, getting a headstart can significantly help speed up the process and help your lawyer. You might also want to talk with your family prior to meeting with your lawyer. If, however, you already know there will be significant tension and backlash, then speaking with your lawyer first may be the better choice.
The probate process can be complicated, but having a lawyer can make things easier. That’s why you should reach out to Holborn Law. We have plenty of qualified probate lawyers that can help!