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Prepare 1st Appointment with Your Probate Attorney

First Meet With Your Probate Attorney

When one is considering embarking on the legal journey to distribute a loved one’s estate, an attorney experienced in probate procedure is an essential guide to arrive at a favorable end to the process in a stress-free manner. Thus, to start this process, the first step is to meet with a probate attorney to get much needed knowledge about the process and the role your attorney will occupy throughout. To ensure that the initial appointment you set with your attorney is as productive as possible, there are certain steps one can take to be prepared.

First, one must be prepared to pay at least a portion of the retainer required by the attorney to begin work on your probate matter. Most attorneys will not begin work without at least half of the retainer up front so they can have ‘gas in the tank,’ to kickstart the probate process and ensure the process is completed as speedily as possible.

Second, one must gather and bring all documents you feel may be relevant to the probate matter to the initial appointment. Those usually consist of death certificates, names and addresses of heirs, any existing estate planning documents, such as wills or trusts, deeds to property, bills, creditor information, bank account information, vehicle titles, and any other document that relates to your loved one’s estate and can provide your attorney with accurate information about the breadth of the assets at play and the number of heirs who will inherit. The more information you can provide up front, the better of a picture your attorney will have of how long the process will take and how much labor will be involved, which lessens the chances of unwelcomed expenditures in the middle of the probate or other nasty surprises.

Next, one should bring a list of questions they want to ask their attorney at the initial meeting. In the midst of meeting your attorney and review and discussion of all the documents you have brought; questions can be easily forgotten until afterwards. Since this first appointment serves as a trial run for whether you want to hire the attorney to represent you in your probate matter, you should have a list of questions handy to ensure you are comfortable with retaining the attorney for representation. Also, this would be a good time to ask questions specifically about your duties in the probate process and what drawbacks one should watch for as the process gets started and proceeds over multiple months, or even years.

Schedule Your Appointment At South County Law

Being prepared for your first appointment ensures that you are getting the most value out of the first appointment, making it easier for your attorney to assess your case, and getting to know your attorney to ensure they are a good fit to be your guide over the coming months. In this way, you are off to a great start in the probate process. To schedule your first appointment with our team at South County Law Firm and embark on your probate process, call today!