Have you recently lost a loved one, and have now found yourself responsible for their estate? This process can be overwhelming and complex, which is why you need all the help you can get. Consider reaching out to a probate attorney to help you with the legal process of settling an estate and dealing with all the complexities that come with it. Here are a few questions you will want to ask during your initial consultation to find out if they are a good fit for you.
How Will You Bill For Your Services?
Probate attorneys can bill in several different ways, such as a flat fee or hourly rate. You will want to make sure that you understand the billing structure, and what costs you should be prepared for. For example, in addition to hourly rates, there may be costs associated with copying documents, transportation costs, and outside services for things like appraisals.
How Do You Communicate With Clients?
You'll want a probate attorney that communicates in the method that works best for you. Always ask if they prefer to meet in person, over the phone, or through email. A probate attorney that is easy to reach is going to make the entire process easier for you, and you should align with their preferred communication method.
What Challenges Are Anticipated?
A probate attorney is going to be very familiar with what to expect during the entire process. Once they hear your situation, they can let you know what challenges they anticipate during the probate process. For example, you may have family members that challenge the will, difficulty locating assets because they were not clearly listed by the deceased, or trouble with decision making about how much of an inheritance each heir receives.
How Long Will The Probate Process Take?
It's important to have realistic expectations about how long the probate process will take. A probate attorney can give you a good estimate based on their experience, such as dealing with the local court system and how long wait times are to complete the process. Probate can take quite some time to get through, so do not expect the estate to be settled quickly.
Think you're ready to meet with a probate attorney now that you know what to ask? Reach out to a probate lawyer in your area to find out more about the services that they can offer you.
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