6 Questions A Probate Attorney Might Ask You

Society Mony Shah Legal 02 February 2024 5 Mins Read
Probate Attorney

Probate attorneys help the beneficiaries or executors of an estate during the probate process. A probate lawyer may also help locate and catalog estate assets, settle debts, and allocate assets to beneficiaries in accordance with the will. In states like Florida, the laws regarding probate may be confusing for the average Joe.

Working with a Florida probate attorney can help you save time and money since authenticating and transferring the management of estate assets can be difficult and time-consuming. When you contact the probate attorney, they will have some questions for you that you need to clarify.

Let us discuss what kinds of inquiries the probate lawyer may make.  

Whether You Have The Appropriate Documents 

Appropriate Documents 

A probate attorney will ask this crucial question because they need to ensure you have the right claim and the documents required are in order. When you schedule your initial appointment, you can take a few documents with you, including the final will of the deceased person, any document that has been submitted to the probate court, the identities and locations of each beneficiary, copies of the outstanding debts, and copies of the deceased’s most recent bank account statements.

If You Have Prior Knowledge Of The Complications Of The Probate Process

The attorney may ask you if you are aware of how complicated the probate process can become to dispel any misunderstandings or uncertainty. It helps the attorney to clarify what happens after a will is filed with the probate court, as most people are unaware of this. Following the entire process by the book is a good idea to shield the estate from future issues and obligations.  

Is Someone Mishandling The Estate?

The probate attorney needs to know what kind of problems they might face in court, and that’s why they might ask if you suspect someone is mishandling the estate. Sometimes, an executor mismanages the estate’s assets, and if that is the case, you need to tell your probate attorney that. A skilled probate lawyer will help you navigate the complications and move quickly in this situation.

Related: Why Mental Health Matters In Estate Planning

How To Establish The Communication Channel? 

Good communication is essential during the whole probate procedure, and the attorney might need to reach you anytime. You should offer them your phone number, email address, physical address, and emergency contact number. 

The Fees You Expect To Pay For The Service

The probate attorney may ask you the amount of money you expect to pay for their services, or they might give you their fee structure instead. More often than not, the location in which you submit the probate case and the intricacy of the legal procedures will determine the rates. They may also want to know who is responsible for paying them for the case.  

If You Know The Process Can Be Lengthy 

Probate attorneys want to make sure that their client knows these processes can take a long time. They do that because many clients are unaware of how lengthy the procedures can be, and many of them later accuse the attorney of not alerting them sooner.  

Just like the probate attorney, you can also interrogate them before hiring them. Asking these questions increases your chances of finding the right attorney for your probate matters. Check them out here:

What Is Their Probate Law Specialization?

It is crucial to ensure that the probate attorney you are willing to consult is a professional, not a first-timer. Opting for a generalist who occasionally gets into the matter of estates and wills does not ensure any guarantee.

Probate law refers to a specialized area of law, which is why it is important to consult a specialized attorney. Begin the process by checking out their company website or seeking advice from former clients.

What Was The Outcome Of Your Previous Probate Cases? 

Secondly, it is important to check whether the probate lawyer has dealt with such a case prior to yours. Probate experience is crucial, so check out if they have already handled it or not. Plus, you need to ask about the case scope, complexity, duration, and expenses involved.

The more you discover about the previous cases, the easier it gets to make a smart decision. It is important to remember that every case is different, and so should be the way of dealing with it. 

List Down The Types Of Complexities You Anticipate!

probate journey

The probate journey is not easy because anything can come up at any point in the case. Make sure your lawyer is prepared even for the worst-case scenarios.

You might ask them what kind of issues they have already faced and what kind of solutions they dwell on. Although hiring a professional attorney will mitigate the possibility of asking these questions again, it’s good to be prepared for the courtroom confrontation.

Are They Available Outside Office Hours? 

The last thing you’d want is to have communication that lasts only within the four walls of the courtroom. Your probate attorney should be available for you even after office hours.

This, in no way, promotes calling them at odd hours and disrupting their peace. But you should definitely ask your attorney about this, especially when an emergency occurs. Probate cases deal with all sorts of emergencies, and the lawyer should always be approachable to their clients.

What Kind Of Fees Can I Expect? 

Last but not least, don’t forget to enquire about the pricing structure. A professional probate lawyer must be able to provide you with a ballpark figure on the basis of the paperwork you have submitted. Ensure to get the fees in writing and remove any possibilities of their increment in the future. 

Final Remarks

Managing probate matters is never simple, and you will need the right professional by your side to make sure the estate is managed correctly. An experienced probate attorney can help you with your probate settlement and give you the right advice whenever needed.

When you meet the attorney for the first time, both of you will undoubtedly have questions, and when the attorney enquires about issues, you should answer truthfully so that the probate process goes smoothly. 

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With an adept skill of curating content on multiple genres, Mony has harnessed success as a Content Writer quickly. Find her sharing her profound thoughts and opinions on lifestyle, beauty, fashion, pets, and parenting.

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