7 Questions to Ask Your Probate Consultant

It’s normal to feel overawed by what lies ahead as you begin handling a loved one’s possessions, obligations, last desires, and more in order to wind up their affairs and manage the estate through probate. The checklist is lengthy and labour-intensive, frequently needing hundreds of hours of effort spread over several months, especially if you are grieving the loss of a loved one.

Help from an estate law specialist can be a lifesaver during these difficult times, helping you avoid costly errors that could cost you time and money, particularly if your loved one leaves behind a complex estate.

1. What Documents Can You Bring to Your Meeting?

Certain documents are a given, such as the death certificate, the last will, bank statements, and the paperwork required to apply for probate applications in NSW.

To ensure that the first appointment is as fruitful as possible, you should bring as many documents as you can. However, the attorney may ask for additional paperwork. It’s preferable to get more than you actually need, even if that turns out to be the case.

To start, you may want to gather the following:

  • Names and addresses of all beneficiaries.
  • A list of creditors.
  • Deeds to all properties your loved one possessed.
  • Invoices that need to be paid.

These will provide them with a complete picture of your loved one’s estate, along with any additional documents they may request.

2. What is Their Expertise?

You should trust and feel comfortable with this person if you will be working closely with them during the probate process. Inquire about their background in estate law, including the length of time they have been in practice, their level of probate court experience, and whether or not they have handled an estate comparable to the one your loved one left behind.

Hiring a lawyer with limited experience in probate law is not a good idea if you have an intricate estate to handle. You want someone with a ton of expertise so you can be confident your lawyer can handle any problems or hiccups that may arise.

3. What are Their Rates?

In addition to wanting to make sure you feel comfortable with the attorney, you should think about meeting with a few different ones to see if their fees fit within your budget.

Since attorneys can be costly, it’s important to be upfront about your financial situation and to clarify any doubts you may have regarding their costs. Extra fees are frequently applied for tasks like document copying and other administrative support.

4. How do They Handle Estate?

Find out how the lawyer intends to handle the matter during that initial encounter. Ask the lawyer how the probate applications in NSW operates from start to finish, step-by-step, if you have never dealt with it before.

Inquire about their anticipated timeline for the procedure and how they intend to address any potential problems that may arise.

No lawyer can give you an exact estimate for the expense of handling the estate, just as no lawyer can give you a clear timeline for when it will be finished. However, a knowledgeable lawyer ought to be able to provide you with an estimate.

5. What can Delay The Process?

Depending on how complicated the estate is, your lawyer may have to deal with a lot of extra turmoil that wasn’t immediately apparent at first.

To gain a decent understanding of the attorney’s level of experience, you should ask them about common and rare problems that could arise and cause the entire procedure to be delayed. You want a probate lawyer who has seen it all and is experienced in handling the intricacies that may occur.

6. When are They Available?

If you’re paying someone to manage your loved one’s estate, you want to be sure that you won’t have to wait days to get a response if you have any questions or concerns. Find out how long it usually takes them to answer emails or phone calls. A lawyer who promises to respond to you no later than 24 hours is the one you should ideally seek out.

7. Who will Handle The Cases?

Your attorney may enlist the aid of paralegals, assistants, or even other attorneys, contingent upon the extent of the estate and the nature of the work required.

You have every right to ask to see such persons during the initial meeting if that’s a possibility, and your attorney can already tell. It’s also possible that the lawyer you’re meeting with is sending the estate along to a colleague because they know deep down that it is outside of their area of practice.

Instead of taking on the case and then giving it to someone else without telling you, the lawyer in that circumstance ought to inform you that they have a colleague who is more qualified for you and present them to you. You have every right to inquire about the attorney handling your case, and a reputable one will provide you with clear, concise answers.

Although every probate case is unique, these are the fundamental questions you should ask any potential lawyer you might work with. It is beneficial to ask as many questions as necessary to calm your mind at this sensitive time so that you can do the right thing for your loved one and respect their preferences.

Connect with Probate Consultants Today!

It is essential to ask relevant questions when working with a probate expert. Elucidating their background, handling intricate cases, and openness in correspondence guarantees a cooperative partnership. Making educated judgments is made possible by being aware of their pricing schedule, reputation, and methods for handling complex legals issues. Asking these kinds of inquiries helps build rapport, provide insight into the consultant’s experience, and facilitate a more seamless probate procedure by addressing worries and promoting confidence in managing the complexities of estate matters.