When a loved one has passed away with money or property left in your name or has named you as an executor to his or her will, you will often find yourself baffled and confused. The wise thing to do would be to hire a good wills and probate lawyer to help you through the legal and technicalities of the situation. A probate lawyer’s duty is usually divided into two categories: a transactional probate lawyer, who handles the administrative side of probates; and probate litigators who represents clients in lawsuits. Some lawyers perform both the roles whereas some prefer to specialize in one area and aims to provide with best and efficient services in their respective areas. You will have to select the lawyer on the basis of your needs, if you require a lawyer for only guidance and consultation, a transactional probate lawyer may be a better choice. If you’re involved in a lawsuit, or are likely to end up in one, then a litigator may be the best bet for you.
You’ll want to hire the attorney who regularly handles probate matters, but who also knows enough about other fields to question whether the action being taken might be affected by laws in any other areas of law. For example, if the decedent had extensive real estate holdings, the lawyer should also know something about real property law.
Such attorneys are usually expensive and not all of them have your best interest at heart. You should be really careful when choosing the right attorney to handle your paperwork. Most bad willed lawyers will try to make the most money out of uneducated clients. A good probate lawyer will listen to your case and put their clients’ need in front of their own. If you don’t have a list of prospective lawyers you can start search online for a good lawyer in your vicinity. A lawyers’ profile websites will have his biographical information, education, details about membership in local, state or national associations and references which may help evaluate whether he has the required expertise. References and client reviews would be a good way to assess the lawyers’ credibility. The Bar Association website can help to find out if the lawyer is in good standings.
You need to make sure that the lawyer considers your special needs. A meeting and initial consultation with a lawyer may help you evaluate whether you are comfortable working with a particular lawyer or not. Good lawyers will always be busy since they would be demanded by a lot of clients. But, if a lawyer takes too long to set up an appointment with you, this should be interpreted as him being too busy to give your case the adequate time and attention that it deserves. You must also anticipate that a lot portion of your case would be delegated to in-house staff, so you may need to evaluate their practices too since they would be handling your case.
Nothing is set in stone. In the end, it is up to your instinct and gut whether a particular lawyer is the right one for your case. You need to make sure that the lawyer keeps you at ease and listens to your case the way you want to be listened and helps you deal with the legality of the property that you are left with. You want to choose the best lawyer that services the Bryan/College Station area who you think will do the right job.
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