How to Prepare for Your Initial Consultation with a West Palm Beach Probate Attorney
Being prepared for your initial consultation with a West Palm Beach probate attorney is essential. It is a challenging and emotional time for all parties involved. The executor, or personal representative, has the added pressure to deal with the decedent’s will and ensure the probate administration runs smoothly. Retaining a West Palm Beach probate attorney is a crucial step. You should make the most of your initial meeting by coming with relevant documents and a list of questions to ask.
What Documents to Bring
Have you received the death certificate already? You should bring a copy of the death certificate along with the decedent’s will. Financial documents, such as bank statements and investment accounts, are essential. It would help if you also started compiling a list of the decedent’s assets, including real estate holdings, bank accounts, stocks, vehicles, furniture, trust documents, insurance policies, etc.
If you already know the contact information for parties named in the will, you should write all that information down. Bringing contact information with you can help expedite the process for your probate attorney.
Although all this information is essential, it’s not mandatory for your initial consultation. Don’t delay contacting an attorney or let yourself get stressed because you are worried about tracking down everything first. Some of the information you are holding off for may not even be available yet. It’s better to schedule a meeting with a probate attorney sooner rather than later.
Potential Questions to Ask During Your Meeting
It’s beneficial to come up with a list of questions to bring to your first meeting. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed when you’re sitting there and forget some things you want to ask. Some potential questions to consider asking include:
- What types of cases does your firm primarily handle?
- How much experience do you have with probate matters? How many years have you been a probate attorney?
- Will you be the attorney handling the probate, or will we be dealing with someone else?
- How do your fees and billing work? Do you charge a flat fee schedule, or do you bill by the hour?
- Are payment plans available?
- How long do you anticipate the probate will take?
- Are there any issues that you anticipate arising during probate?
- What is your policy on returning client communication? How quickly do you return phone calls or answer emails?
These are not the questions you must ask, but it’s a good starting point if you have specific questions that relate to your position as executor and how the probate administration process works, they should be on your list as well.
Contact a West Palm Beach Probate Attorney
If you were appointed as someone’s executor and need assistance with a probate administration, it’s beneficial to work with a skilled attorney who can help keep things moving on track and avoid costly mistakes. As the executor, you could be facing liability for any errors you make that cost the estate money or assets. Avoid putting yourself at risk; hire a West Palm Beach probate attorney instead. Contact the Law Offices of Larry E. Bray, P.A. today to schedule a consultation.