Hiring the right probate attorney becomes essential when a loved one passes away leaving assets – called a probate estate. It is essential that those assets be transferred properly, or else problems arise both now and later on for all family members involved. This is especially the case when there is discord among family members regarding an estate. The process of administering an estate may be hindered by disagreements among family, who may all believe they have rights to some or all of the estate. When an estate is contested it may take an extended time to settle — resulting in significant costs to the estate itself. These costs will typically be paid from the estate’s assets, thereby reducing the value of the estate. This process can become very complicated in the event the estate is not able to pay off its debts or if the estate in question has a business which needs to be valued, managed and transferred. With these and other potential complexities of the probate process, having an experienced and knowledgeable probate attorney can make the process smoother as well as less expensive.

If the estate in question has a business which needs to be valued, managed and transferred, and you have a family attorney who has been looking after the legal needs of the business and your family for many years, this attorney may be a good resource — as you will have previous experience communicating and working through legal issues with this attorney. A family attorney may know some of the dynamics of your family and be able to help in mitigating many issues more easily due to his or her knowledge of the family. However, many people do not have a business and/or family attorney. In this case the best thing to do is to ask for referrals from friends, family or trusted business colleagues.

If referrals do not lead you to an attorney you wish to work with, there are a number of websites that are dedicated to listing attorneys in your area which practice probate law. These websites as well as a google search will help you find a local probate attorney, find reviews and make a list of attorneys to interview. Most attorneys will provide basic information about their practice areas on their websites. You will want to determine if the attorney not only practices probate law, but also whether the attorney is experienced and knowledgeable in probate law. Written or video reviews and testimonials can help you by giving a glimpse of the practice areas in which the attorney has represented his or her clients. You will also get a feel for how the clients felt about the experience with the probate attorney and possibly the additional members of the firm. Make sure you learn about the number and kinds of probate cases the attorney has handled in the past. This will help you determine if the attorney has the knowledge and experience needed to handle your case.

Dealing with an estate in probate can be a long and difficult process. The right probate attorney can make this process much easier by ensuring your needs and wishes are well considered and represented. David R. Brewer and his team are experienced, knowledgeable and will help you meet your needs with confidence.

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