There are numerous reasons why one can need the services of wills and estate lawyer. These lawyers specialise in creating a will, designating your beneficiaries, helping you save taxes on the estate, offering guidance to avoid probate court process, etc. However, the process of finding a good estate lawyer is what many find challenging.
For example, if you need a lawyer to take care of your overseas estate, you need to find a lawyer specialising in international estate planning. Or if you need to find a specific location lawyer for particular services like will solicitors Salisbury
, then your list should be limited to lawyers who fit the profile.
The task of choosing good wills and estate lawyers can become smooth if you have a plan in place. We have created a simple three-step plan to help you find the lawyer for your wills and estate planning to make your selection process easier.
Here is what you need to do:
1. Make a List of All Prospective Candidates
This is the first step to help you get the best wills and estate lawyers. You might feel that this would be a time-consuming task. However, it is a very simple process. You can check out the local listing from the directory or simply get on google to list all the prospective candidates that specialise in wills and estate.
This list is supposed to be comprehensive, and the lawyers should be within your reachable vicinity. Also, it is important to note that every lawyer has a specific specialisation. Some may be experts at wills, while some would have specialisation in property disputers. You need to create a list based on your specific requirement and find lawyers who can help you with your issues.
2. Interviewing the Lawyers
You heard that right. The list you put down in the first step is now supposed to be used to shortlist further. You must arrange for a one-on-one meeting with each prospect and be prepared with your list of questions. It is important that you check the bar status of each of the shortlisted candidates before the interview.
Here is the list of questions that you must ask in addition to the ones that you already created:
• How long have you been practising law?
• What forms of communication you use to communicate with clients?
• Would I be assigned any paralegal or any other point of contact?
• What fees do you charge, and how is the structure of your fees?
• Any other charges that I must be aware of other than the quotation?
• In case of emergency, how can you be reached directly?
The purpose of taking the interview is to find the best fit for your needs. While analysing their response, just trust your instincts. You should feel comfortable talking and opening up to your lawyers.
Observe if you get a good-to-go vibe from any of them. You need to have a good rapport with your estate lawyer, so communication openness is of utmost importance. Make sure that you don’t feel awkward with the selected candidate.
3. Understanding the fee structure
Attorney business is an expensive trade. You need to be very clear about what you are getting into and if it’s worth your time and money. While selecting a good estate lawyer, it is very important that you get a clear idea about their fee structure.
You should get a clear idea from the first meeting itself. Some lawyers offer free consultation, while others have a flat fee or charge by the hour. Discuss and get clarity on the inclusions and exclusions from the fees. As mentioned earlier, the law business is expensive, and you don’t want to get stuck into a fee trap that you cannot afford.
Moreover, your final selection of the lawyer must always be based on the fees you can easily afford.
To give you a brief idea, a simple estate planning lawyer would charge anywhere between AUD 1500 to AUD 3000. At the same time, the charges for complex estate planning may go beyond AUD 5000. The hourly rates of the lawyers run from AUD 200 to AUD 400 an hour.
Many are scared at the thought of availing services of lawyers in any legal matter. However, when it comes to wills & estate lawyer requirements, their services are becoming more like a need nowadays.
To help you ease down and simplify the process of finding a good estate lawyer, we included some simple steps in this article. We hope that the information provided in this write-up proves useful to you and that you find the best fit for your estate needs.