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Questions to ask a Probate Attorney in Kentucky
Dealing with Probate can be tough since you are dealing with your grief over the loss of a loved one but still have a legal process you need to follow. Finding the right attorney is critical and can help make this process much easier. We have gathered a list of questions based on our years of experience that you should ask an attorney before hiring them to represent you:
What other areas of law do you practice?
There are many areas of law that attorneys can practice and typically most attorneys have a “speciality” area. Some are proficient with criminal law, others specialize in corporate business matters, others primarily focus on real estate closings. When hiring a probate attorney, ask them (or look at their website) about other areas of law they practice. Our experience has shown that attorneys who don’t focus on probate/estates are less likely to properly represent their clients in estate matters. This can also cause unnecessary delays in the probate process.
Do you regularly practice before the court to which my case will be assigned?
Every county has its unique way of doing things. Every judge has their own rules. It makes the process smoother and quicker if the attorney has experience in a particular Surrogate’s Court when taking on a case.
Have you had similar cases in the past and what was your experience?
This is probably the most important question. This question allows you to understand whether you are speaking with an attorney experienced in estates. While every situation will be different when it comes to what is included in an estate, it doesn’t hurt to find out if a probate attorney has dealt with similar cases. For instance, if your loved one left behind a large estate with many complex arrangements and stipulations in their will, you may prefer to work with a probate attorney experienced with situations like this.
What is the approximate time frame for completion?
This is a question we frequently hear. I think the reason is that there is much confusion and misunderstanding surrounding the probate process and some clients fear that it will take years (it rarely does). Knowing an approximate time frame is important to know how to plan (and budget) your resources, so feel free to ask your attorney, while keeping in mind that wrinkles and associated delays can sometimes come up in estate work.
What potential issues may arise in my case, if any?
An experienced attorney should be able to tell you which nuances of your case may cause delays and how to plan for them. Knowing this information in advance can help you obtain any necessary paperwork in advance, saving time.
How quickly will I be able to reach an attorney during this process?
There may be some unexpected issues you’ll have to deal with during probate, so it can be frustrating if you have to play phone tag. Ask your attorney how available they are for their clients. Some law firms have an answering service while some attorneys will provide their personal contact number for clients. Also, ask how they normally communicate with their clients. Even if there are no issues with probate, you’ll still want to be kept informed of how the process is going.
What are the estimated legal fees and are there any other fees?
Legal fees can be confusing. Will the attorney be charging a flat fee, hourly fee, or contingency fee? If hourly, how many hours have similar cases taken? If flat fee, what if the matter is more complicated than anticipated? How much will court fees be in my case? Speak to the attorney to find out how they charge and approximately how much you should expect to pay.
Dealing with the loss of a loved one is a painful process with much uncertainty. Before hiring an attorney to navigate you through the process, make sure you are in control of the process by starting with these questions. FairSquare House Buyers has experience with probate and are happy to help answer questions. We can also make recommendations of attorneys who specialize in handling probate cases. Please reach out anytime with questions, no obligations. We are here to help!