It’s important that everyone plan for their own death. Having the proper last Will and Testament in place can certainly ease the burdens that your family will deal with at the end of your life. However, even having a Will in place can’t prevent all the questions and needs that might drive someone to need probate attorneys. When you find yourself dealing with a complicated probate situation, don’t hesitate to call a professional.
Why You Might Need Probate Attorneys
People need the services of probate attorneys for different reasons.
Perhaps your loved one’s Will is outdated and they had a major life change after the Will was written that should be legally taken into account. Maybe they got married, and their spouse is entitled to legal review of the assets in your state, but your loved one’s Will was from another state or didn’t include that spouse. Maybe your loved one had a new child, bought a new property, or there are questions regarding an insurance payout associated with the death of your loved one.
Whatever the case when it comes to having a Will in place, sometimes, it’s simply not enough. Although your loved one may have had a Will or other appropriate legal paperwork, you will still need the services of a professional to guide you through the probate process.
In other circumstances, your loved one did not have a Will at all, and in that case, their assets are automatically evaluated by the state to be taxed and allocated appropriately. In that case, you most definitely want an attorney to help – as you never know who is representing the other side, and you don’t want to go into a negotiation without someone in your corner.
Looking For Probate Attorneys
When you’re grieving the loss of a loved one, and dealing with any resulting financial, physical, or familial fall-out of their death, you don’t want to spend a great deal of time shopping for a lawyer. But, if it’s a task that has to be done, get it done. Sooner rather than later is better. It will give you more time to get the assistance and representation you need.
Set yourself aside an hour or two to shop for an attorney in your area. You want someone local because you want someone you can talk to, but you also want someone who is familiar with the laws local to where your loved one lived, died, or owned property. If your local attorney isn’t certified or licensed in the state or location where the probate is taking place, he or she will be able to guide you appropriately. They might even be able to act as your representation in a large or complicated situation where many people have interests.
Research Probate Attorneys
Once you’ve schedule your time to shop and you’ve found a couple local probate attorneys, check out their reviews. Online reviews are one of the best ways to see what other people in your community say about their services. If you know someone who used their services – even better! Reach out and ask them about their experience with the attorney. You can (and should!) also check professional reviews or associations to see if the lawyer is backed up on a larger scale outside of your community.
Contacting Different Probate Attorneys
Some attorneys will have a full case load and not be able to take on new clients. And some lawyers, your personalities or approaches or priorities simply won’t click. If the lawyer you’re looking into offers a free consultation, go ahead and schedule it. You don’t have anything to lose, and you have the opportunity to make sure that they are going to be someone you want to work with.
Interviewing Probate Attorneys
Probate attorneys should have a good “beside manner.” You’re grieving. Others involved are grieving. Emotions are high. Pressure may be intensified by deadlines and unfamiliar processes. A good probate attorney and their team should help ease everyone’s concerns, make the process simpler for everyone and keep their calm under whatever pressure is thrown their way. If you don’t get the sense from the interview that the lawyer will be able to do that, move along, and keep interviewing until the find the right team of probate attorneys.