It’s a good idea to spend some time interviewing probate lawyers before settling on one. You should know that you don’t necessarily have to use the lawyer who drew up the will, you are free to search for a different probate lawyer to handle the process. The lawyer is working for you, not for the person who has passed away, so search for someone you think you will get on with.
What Questions Should You Ask?
Once you meet a probate lawyer you are thinking about hiring, it is easy to end up getting stuck in straight away. Most probate lawyers have a certain way of working and will instantly start asking you for documents and information. But, remember, you are there to see whether you think this particular probate lawyer is a good fit. Tell them you want to speak to a few probate lawyers before making a decision, and so you just want to ask them a few questions.
Some questions to think about are:
- How many probate cases have they handled?
- Are they willing to work with you if you want to do some of the probate work yourself?
- Do they offer any reduced rates if paralegals do some of the work?
- How long do they think it will take to go through the probate process?
- Roughly how much will their service cost?
Skills to Think About
The process of probate itself isn’t too complicated, it is mostly routine paperwork, and many people decide to handle it themselves. However, if the estate is a complex one, or you don’t feel up to the task, a probate lawyer is a good solution. Just remember that a framed law certificate on the wall doesn’t mean they are the best person for the job.
Many lawyers will be perfectly qualified to handle the case, but you want one who is helpful and who communicates well, and that’s a skill they can’t prove on paper. Many lawyers have a habit of throwing around complex legal terms, you want a lawyer who will level with you and make sure you understand how the probate process is going. If you want to do some of the work yourself you also need a probate lawyer who accepts your efforts to learn about probate.