When you meet with an attorney in a probate law firm for the first time, it can be tempting to hire them immediately and get started with the process. Nobody likes the lengthy and time-consuming process of probate. However, rushing into things can cause regrets later, especially when it comes to estate distribution.
Before you move on with the process, it is important that you know you have picked the right person for the job. The better you know the person, the more confident you will feel about hiring them. Asking them a few questions can clarify your doubts.
Top questions to ask your probate attorney
- What types of cases do you handle?
This is an important question because many attorneys who handle probate cases also work in other areas of law. You want to find someone who is experienced and focuses on probate cases. If they tell you that they work for other law areas as well, it might not be the best idea to hire them.
- What would be your job as a probate attorney?
Now you ask them about their role as an attorney and what they can help you achieve. This question basically lets you know what you can expect from them. The main jobs of a probate attorney are estate management and distribution, tax planning, and conflict-free Will execution.
- How many cases have you handled in your career?
This question is important to understand the attorney’s experience and expertise in the field. While the number of years of experience does not necessarily mean that they are good, you can understand whether they are new or have been practicing for many years.
- Have you executed a will before?
This is a pretty obvious question. If you want to make sure the administration of your will is done correctly and smoothly, you need someone experienced. Be sure to get a positive reply on this one.
- How will you charge me?
Attorneys charge in various ways. Some charge you by the hour, some have specific rates and others have both. Money should not be the deciding factor, but it is important that you can afford their services. Make sure you choose the payment method that suits you best.
- What can I expect during the process?
If you do not have any experience in the legal field, you will need someone you can fully trust and depend on for the probate. This question helps understand whether they are committed to transparency.
- How long will it take?
While this question does not come with a definite answer, a good attorney should be able to give you an answer. Since an experienced attorney has seen various cases like yours before, they can give you an estimated amount of time.