Undoubtedly, dealing with probate cases on daily basis is one of the most demanding fields in law practice. In Florida, probate cases can be quite complex, as many non-resident estates require ancillary administration, or intestate succession when there is no last will.
Hence, practicing probate law requires a high level of knowledge that encompasses probate filings, estate administration, negotiation skills, alternative dispute resolution methods, among others.
In this article, you will discover the essential questions to ask a Florida probate attorney.
Questions to Ask a Florida Probate Attorney – The Essentials
What is the Attorney’s Experience Dealing with Probate Cases?
While legal knowledge is important, only knowing the letter of law is not sufficient to conduct a probate case in court. In this sense, an experienced attorney can assess the scenario and rapidly respond to whichever issues may arise.
Will the Attorney Devote Sufficient Time to the Client’s Legal Needs?
No attorney can provide proper legal guidance without taking time to know the client(s) – especially considering probate cases. Each case is different, then every detail associated with a probate process may affect the process timeline and outcome.
Ultimately, every lawyer has a limited amount of time each day to dedicate to clients. An expert probate attorney will certainly devote as much time as needed to address each client’s needs.
Is the Probate Attorney a Specialist in Florida Probate Law?
When hiring an attorney to handle a probate case in Florida, it is crucial to avoid legal professionals who “do it all.” For example, attorneys who handle cases in criminal, civil, probate, and business simultaneously may not specialize in a specific area.
Accordingly, it is important to ask about the attorney’s specialization to have a clear idea of the type of legal services provided and whether that professional will satisfy the requirements for the job.
What Size Estates Have the Attorney Probated Previously?
Ideally, the best approach is to find an attorney with experience probating estates of multiple sizes and different levels of complexity.
For example, there are law firms that only probate large estate valued into the tens of millions of dollars and comprised mostly of complex assets, such as stocks, interest shares in different companies, etc.
In such cases, these attorneys will not likely handle a smaller probate proceeding as they should, especially when identifying less expensive options provided by Florida law.
On the other hand, an attorney who has handled only smaller states may struggle to deal with the complexity and number of assets involved in the probation of larger estates. Hence, the goal is to find a legal counselor that has experience probating estate of all sizes.
Does the Attorney Have a History of Complaints or Misconduct?
It is important to verify whether the attorney has received complaints regarding professional performance or misconduct. In this sense, it is important to consider the existence of erroneous complaints or complaints filed by displeased clients.
Ultimately, one must use common sense and assess the circumstances in which any complaints were filed against the attorney.
How Can Expert Legal Advice Help to Speed Up Probate in a Cost-Efficient Manner?
Regardless of the size of the estate subject to probate and the circumstances of each case, it is essential to seek legal guidance. In Florida’s formal administration, personal representatives are legally required to hire the services of a probate attorney.
There are several ways by which legal advice can speed up probate while saving time and money, especially by preventing execution mistakes, poor decision-making, and legal disputes during the process.