If you are in need of a probate attorney, it is of the utmost importance you hire an attorney with experience in probate law.
Some attorneys will take on matters they are not familiar with just for the fees. It is in your best interest to make sure anytime you hire an attorney they have expertise in the area of law in which you need assistance. Here are questions to ask a probate attorney before hiring them for your estate law matters.
Probate Attorney Questions
#1: What other areas of law do you practice?
In general, it is better to have an attorney who is focused on estate planning, probate and real estate and in matters of end of life planning and the resolution of wills.
There may be other areas of practice within a law firm, but you want an attorney who has expertise in dealing with these matters to guide you through the complicated probate process in an expedient manner.
#2: What is the time frame in which you estimate my case to be resolved?
Probate can be time consuming and expensive. After reviewing the details of the estate, a proficient probate attorney should be able to give you a good estimate of the time it should take to complete. An attorney who cannot answer this question might draw out the process and cost you more money.
#3: What potential issues do you see with my case?
There can be several issues that may arise with any probate case. If there is any chance the will may be contested, you should make sure you tell your attorney.
If there are any debts that must be dealt with or if there are any unknowns about the deceased’s finances, the probate attorney should be able to tell you what complications there might be.
#4: How do you assess your fees? Hourly? Flat fee?
Given the lengthy and costly process of probate, this is a very important question to know up front. If there is a flat fee, make sure you ask if there is any possibility of incurring other fees so you are not surprised later on.
If the fee is hourly, ask how many hours the attorney estimates he or she will spend on your case. Some attorneys charge a percentage of the total assets. In larger estates, this may be inefficient and lead to high costs.
#5: How easily can I reach a paralegal or attorney if I have questions?
This question is to give you a comfort level. Some offices may not answer your questions for days, while others have policies to assure all phone calls and emails are answered promptly. At Port Legal we put great effort into answering all inquiries within 24 hours, and in most instances its much sooner. Communication in any legal matter is crucial.
If you are ready to hire a probate attorney or need to get your estate affairs in order, contact Port Legal in Columbus, Ohio today. We offer expert knowledge in estate planning and probate cases.