Probate law is the legal procedure for distributing a decedent’s estate after death. A probate lawyer collaborates with the executor and the beneficiaries throughout the procedure. Understanding that probate can happen with or without a will is crucial and that each situation affects how the procedure works slightly differently. The job of a probate lawyer differs slightly based on whether or not there is a will, although they can help in either situation. Here are some important probate law attorney interview questions to ask to determine whether or not the attorney is a good fit for you and what you should anticipate if you choose EvergreenElderLaw.
Sometimes, probate is necessary. As a result, the majority of people will eventually need to speak with a probate lawyer. Unfortunately, it can be challenging. Since most individuals are unfamiliar with the probate procedure, it is essential to read up on it and become familiar with the terms. Nevertheless, finding the ideal probate lawyer will be simpler the more prepared you are.
Here are some questionsto as a probate attorney before hiring them
1. Have you dealt with cases like mine before?
The probate sector depends heavily on experience. Even while each instance is unique to the individual, many of the same problems frequently arise from case to case. An expert probate lawyer gives you and the estate you’re managing more security so you can prevent mistakes and complete the task as quickly as you can.
2. When does probate start?
The size and complexity of the estate that the attorney must distribute play a significant role in how long it takes to conclude a probate case. If everything goes properly, smaller estates will take a few months. Meanwhile, appropriately distributing larger estates might take up to a year or longer. The timing may also be affected by the sorts of assets used. Estates containing commercial assets or intellectual property rights will be more complicated than basic estates involving cash and maybe a family home.You may use this question to determine your personal timeframe and assess the knowledge and expertise of the probate lawyer you are dealing with. Again, each timeframe is unique to each case, but a knowledgeable probate lawyer should be able to give you an idea of how long it should take.
3. How are we going to communicate?
With your probate attorney, there is no right or wrong way to communicate. It depends on your two preferences. These days, people frequently communicate with attorneys via email, text/SMS, phone conversations, and video chats. It’s vital to think about how you two prefer to communicate, and you shouldn’t assume that the answer to this question has to be a deal-breaker. However, like any attorney you choose, they manage personal matters on your behalf, so it’s crucial to establish communication channels upfront.
4. How frequently can I anticipate hearing from you?
There is no “correct” response to this topic either; therefore, you should contact a probate lawyer. Perhaps you prefer to only hear from your probate attorney when there are significant developments, or perhaps you would want to hear from them more frequently. The key is knowing what to anticipate immediately, regardless of your preferences or the lawyer’s usual procedure.
5. Why do you need me, exactly?
Another smart question to ask a probate lawyer, or any lawyer you employ for that matter, is this one. When taking on proper representation of the probate matter, the attorney should conduct all court-related activities. However, you could also be held accountable, especially if you are the will’s executor. For instance, the executor is responsible for gathering and organizing the estate’s assets and paying any associated expenses. After speaking with your probate lawyer, you may decide to divide up part of the documents. In any instance, it’s crucial to ensure the probate process goes as easily and effectively as possible; your attorney may require your cooperation and involvement in the case.
6. Do you primarily focus on probate cases?
What distinguishes an estate planning lawyer from a probate lawyer may be something you’re curious about. Estate planning is a legal specialty that includes probate issues; however, this legal specialty only encompasses a portion of estate planning. Probate attorneys prioritize:
- Distribution of an estate
- Will it execute
- tax preparation
Therefore, even though estate planning lawyers are a subgroup of probate lawyers, not all estate planning attorneys also work on probate issues. Additionally, expertise in these matters is essential since probate cases are unique from all other types of estate planning issues.
7. How much will the legal proceedings in my probate case cost?
Several variables include determining a probate lawyer’s fee.
- The customary legal expenses
- The issues that the attorney must address
- How long the case took (largely determined by the size and complexity of the estate)
It is important to ask an attorney because they may not always list their rates on their website.The probate lawyer may find it challenging to provide you with a specific estimate right away, but they should be able to offer you a general idea of how much the procedure may cost and the kinds of aspects that will affect the final rates.
7. Do You Have a Law License? How long have you been a lawyer handling estates?
When dealing with this issue, you should look for a qualified attorney with years of expertise in probate. The legal requirements and time commitment involved in probate can be exceedingly challenging. You want an attorney specializing in this, not a generalist, to represent you. A general attorney might not clearly understand the probate procedure and be unable to represent you in real estate disputes confidently.
9. How Will the Lien Holders Be Treated?
It is crucial to inquire about the lawyer’s approach to handling creditors and lien holders. According to Florida law, the estate’s earnings are first used to pay off debts. The executor may occasionally sell the property to settle debts if there is insufficient money.
In conclusion, you must get the correct lawyer since probate disputes can be difficult to handle. These questions to ask a probate attorney will help you figure out whether the attorney you talk with is the perfect fit for you because you are putting your confidence in them to assist in distributing several assets with significant emotional and monetary worth.