If you have recently lost a loved one, it is important that you look for a reliable probate lawyer. A probate lawyer is a professional who specializes in settling the estate of a deceased individual.
This type of lawyer usually handles the administrative matters involved in closing an estate, though some attorneys provide representation to those who are involved in a dispute over the property of the deceased.
Here are Some Useful Tips
One of the best ways of finding a credible probate lawyer is to ask your friends and family members who they recommend. Chances are that they may know someone who is competent and experienced. You can also use the Internet to find lawyers in the local area, or use the local phone directory.
As several lawyers provide a wealth of information online, reading through their websites could be highly beneficial. Although it is not wise to wait in these matters, make sure to take the time to conduct a detailed interview.
This interview will give you the opportunity to have all your questions answered as well as to determine the costs that you will have to pay. This will also allow you to gauge the personality of the lawyer under consideration.
An interview will allow you to determine whether you feel comfortable with the lawyer. It will help ensure that things go in a smooth and expedited manner. There are a lot of things that need to be considered about a lawyer before they are selected by conducting this interview. For instance, you need to get past references and check his or her status with the local state bar association.
Things You Should Know Before Hiring Them
Some of the general responsibilities of a probate lawyer include handling all requisite paperwork with the court, creating a list of the assets of the estate, outlining all the costs included and other important aspects.
Make sure to check the qualifications and credentials of the lawyer you are considering. The lawyer has to be properly qualified in the relevant discipline. Do not hesitate to ask the lawyer about his or her law college and other details. An honest lawyer will be clear about his or her academic and professional credentials.
Sometimes, the estate could be disputed. Some reasons behind a dispute may include an heir thinking that they didn’t get their due share, a will that is not clear, or when there is no will specifying how the property needs to be divided among heirs.
If you are worried about the costs of hiring a probate lawyer, you can actually save some money by handing some of the work that your attorney does. For example, you can help him or her in preparing the list of assets and properties, collecting all necessary information regarding insurance, and other similar tasks.
With that said, you need to keep all of the above mentioned things in mind when looking for a probate lawyer in your area. This will help you make a sound decision.
Further Reading: Can you probate a will without a lawyer?