If a close acquaintance or a loved one has passed away recently naming you as their estate’s executor in the last will, then you can seek the assistance of a probate lawyer to discuss your available options. But with a large number of lawyers in the field, choosing the one who can cater best to your requirements can seem like a daunting task. Keeping such things in mind, we have collated a list of things to look out for while choosing a probate attorney:
- Lawyers offer specialized legal knowledge which is otherwise not readily accessible by the general public. They also offer legal advice from the experience gathered by working in this field. This is why you should seek out a probate lawyer having strong working knowledge so that they can provide trustworthy legal advice. The academic credentials of most lawyers handling probate cases are similar. You should stick to a professional who handles such cases and other estate matters regularly.
- While choosing a probate lawyer, going with the cheapest one isn’t always the best option. At the same time, you should make sure that you don’t end up overpaying for the legal services availed. If you are searching for a probate lawyer, then you will initially obtain quotes on the legal fees. If a particular quote seems comparatively higher or lower than the group average, then you should enquire reasons behind the same. Often lawyers quote lower up-front costs but they include only the basics of completing and filing the probate application. Some probate lawyers bill their clients on an hourly basis whereas others charge a flat fee depending on the estate value. Both the fee structures come with a set of pros and cons which you need to weigh and determine the one that suits you best.
- You should always enquire about the timeline of completing your probate application from your potential probate lawyer. Some lawyers might be busy whereas others might be better at managing time and juggling multiple clients at once. There isn’t much a probate lawyer can do to speed up the court wait times after the probate application has been submitted. However, they can file your application promptly to speed up the entire process.
- The reputation of the legal firm is another important consideration while looking out for a probate attorney. Other than reviews from google, you can also ask around your friends and relatives who have experienced similar situations and have consulted a lawyer. Just like any other service provider, it is always advisable to choose a trustworthy probate lawyer having a rock-solid reputation such as the Cherry Hill NJ Probate Lawyers.
- Every lawyer has a separate style of practice which is impossible to determine from a plain telephone call. However, you can gauge the same by meeting these professionals face to face for the initial consultation. This is when you need to understand if they will be a good fit for you. You should select a lawyer who is easy to deal with as you will have to work closely with them through a lion’s share of the estate administration process.
Although probate isn’t required for every circumstance, a skilled probate lawyer can guide you through the application process and offer necessary advice regarding estate distribution.