When a loved one dies, finding the best probate lawyer in the Florida Keys is essential. There are several reasons why you may be responsible for seeking out the best probate attorney in the Upper Keys. These include:
• Your loved one named you the personal representative or executor in his or her will.
• The will doesn’t name an executor.
• The person named as executor is unavailable or decreased.
• You think the existing executor is incompetent.
If any of these apply to you, you need to know how to get the right legal advice.
What Sort of Probate Attorney Will You Require?
There are two kinds of probate lawyers. Probate litigators represent their clients in a probate lawsuit. Meanwhile, transactional probate lawyers deal with the administration of probates. While some attorneys will do both, most will specialize in one or the other.
If your family member is recently deceased and you’re ready to begin the probate process, a transactional attorney is necessary. If you need to challenge your loved one’s will, a litigator is necessary.
It’s important to choose an attorney with experience in handling probate matters. However, he or she should also have sufficient knowledge of other legal fields. This will guarantee he or she knows whether other areas of the law will likely affect any actions you take.
Finding A Skilled Attorney
One of the best ways to find the right attorney is through personal recommendations. Ask friends and family members you trust for their experiences.
If no personal recommendation is available, you can search online for lawyers in your area. Once you’ve narrowed down your list, there are several aspects you can use to narrow down the list even further. These include:
• Biographical information – the lawyer’s experience, training, and years in practice
• Additional certifications for specializations
• State bar association
• Membership in national, state, or local associations
• Any other special requirements, such as language skills or licensing to practice in multiple states
Meeting Your Chosen Lawyers
Once you’ve narrowed down the list, arrange in-person meetings with the attorneys. You will need to use your gut instinct and common sense in the evaluation process. After all, feeling comfortable with your chosen lawyer is vital.
Remember, a good lawyer will always be busy. Therefore, he or she may not be able to arrange an appointment immediately. However, he or she should make time to meet with you within a reasonable period. If the lawyer cannot, he or she may be too busy to meet your needs.
Also, bear in mind that your chosen lawyer may delegate responsibilities to his or her team members. This means you should consider how the lawyer’s staff members treat you. They reflect how the attorney practices.
Which Questions Should I Ask?
When choosing an attorney, there are several questions you should ask at your meeting. These will vary depending on your circumstances. Some of the most common include:
• As an executor, which elements of the probate process may I do independently with no help from an attorney?
• The deceased has named another family member and me as coexecutors. However, that person doesn’t want to be an executor. Is it possible for me to do it without his or her help?
• My loved one owned property in a different state. Can you handle the probate process there? If not, could you recommend another lawyer who could handle it on my behalf?
The answers to the questions you ask will help you find the best probate attorney in the Florida Keys.