According to a recent survey by Edward Jones, 77% of American adults believe that estate planning and will writing is essential for everyone, regardless of their income levels or wealth. Yet over 55% die without having a will or an estate plan in place, while 71% of those that have, don’t have an updated one.
Suppose a deceased loved one appoints you as an executor of their estate. In that case, you may have to grapple with the reality of losing someone that you cared for while negotiating a potential minefield of legal decisions and issues. It would be best to have a probate attorney by your side to help you through the probate process. But how do you pick out the right probate law firm?
Here are five factors to consider when choosing a probate law office to represent you.
Without prior knowledge of Probate Law, being appointed as an executor may throw you into uncharted waters. You may be legally responsible for errors made during the estate distribution. You may need to find probate lawyers with deep knowledge and experience in handling estate planning and distribution cases. The attorney may serve as a reliable source of information for all your queries and concerns.
You may wish to engage with a probate attorney that’s regarded as a specialist in Estate law. Michigan State Bar Association certifies attorneys in various legal fields. You need to ensure that the law firm you pick specializes in probate law. A lawyer that handles probate and estate planning matters consistently may anticipate legal issues that may occur, providing a solid roadmap to the proper distribution of the estate to the beneficiaries. Additionally, an experienced attorney may identify issues affected by other sections of the legal system, such as property law.
Probating is a lengthy and complicated process. You may need to be consistently in touch with the probate law firm, getting updates about the administration of the estate. You may need to pick out an attorney with well-established communication channels to reach out to you. You can learn more about the lawyer by scheduling a face-to-face consultation at their probate law office. The response to your queries may indicate if they are the right fit for you.
4. Fee Structure
If you decide to settle with a particular probate law firm, you may need to establish their legal fees and cost structure. Have a frank discussion of the fees and how and when the attorney sends their bill. Probate law firms may charge an hourly rate or a percentage of the asset value on the estate. Insist on a written fee agreement before the attorney begins working on your case.
One of the easiest and most effective ways of finding a probate law firm is to request recommendations from your social circles. Your friends and family may provide a list of referrals that you can now research on. You may dig deeper online to find out what past clients say about their services.
Probate attorneys play a vital role in estate planning, will writing, and asset distribution to the beneficiaries. You may need to find the right law firm to guide you through a smooth probate process. You can reach out to The Law Offices of Sean J. Nichols to schedule a consultation meeting.