Probate can be a complex and sometimes contentious process. Working with the right attorney, though, can help ease some of the tensions and keep the process working smoothly. There are a lot of things that make for a good Los Angeles probate attorney. In particular, things like knowledge and experience are critical.
However, one of the qualities that is particularly important, although less often discussed, is that you want to make sure that you are working with the right attorney for you and your family. All the credentials in the world don’t necessarily mean that that individual is going to be the right probate lawyer for your particular situation. It’s important to put what your situation needs at the forefront of your probate attorney search.
For many people, a recommendation is something that can help them decide between options. This is particularly true when choosing a provider in a service industry, which is what lawyers are. If you know someone personally who has worked with a particular probate lawyer, they may be able to give you some thoughts on working with them. Similarly, there are online recommendations as well, but those are a little less trustworthy.
You may find some value in asking a lawyer directly if they have any references or awards that could vouch for their abilities. Looking at the state’s bar association website can also help with your search. Additionally, there are other organizations that give out awards and rankings to lawyers in an area, and they may be worth looking at as well.
Before deciding to work with a lawyer, it’s a good idea to ask them some questions to get a sense of whether you feel that they would be a good fit for you. These questions could be on a variety of things. You may want to inquire about their background and experience. You may also want to ask some questions that reveal their personality or how they work to ensure that it’s a compatible fit. It’s a good idea to determine what’s most important to you and ask questions that address those concerns.
It can be helpful to take a look at the credentials that a lawyer has. You could also check on their experience level as well. In particular, if there is anything more unique or unconventional about your situation, you may want to see if they have some experience in similar situations.
It’s also a good idea to look for certain personality traits. It’s always beneficial for a lawyer to be detail-oriented. In the case of probate, these are particularly challenging and emotional times for most people involved. Even though the idea of compassion isn’t always associated with lawyers, you may want to find someone who understands the raw emotions and nature of the situation.
A: The first benchmark for a probate requirement is the estate value. If the estate is less than $166,250, then there is no need for it to pass through probate. However, for estates greater than that, most assets will need to navigate through the probate process, particularly if there is no surviving spouse. The assets that aren’t then shielded from the process in something like a living trust will be subject to the probate process.
A: There are a lot of legal requirements that exist around the issue of someone’s estate and transferring ownership. The law related to these issues can be particularly complex. That’s why probate lawyers can help see that what could be a challenging process goes much more smoothly. Some of the things that a probate lawyer can help with include:
A: There are a few different steps you can take to help keep probate costs on the lower end. The first is proper planning ahead of time. If thorough estate planning is done, this can help prepare things for probate or allow many assets to avoid the process altogether.
Another means of keeping costs down is working with a probate attorney. Their experience and knowledge can help avoid some of the problems that can lead to high probate expenses. They can also assist with preparation on the front end and see that the process is well-run when the estate goes through probate.
A: Probate can be a challenging process for many families. Certainly, no one enjoys it, and everyone is happy when it’s over. In particular, though, there are a few things that stand out as reasons to try to avoid probate or minimize its significance.
One of the most comprehensive ways to avoid these issues is by creating a living trust to hold most of the assets.
At Sweeney Probate Law, we have years of helping clients in all kinds of situations through the probate process. We pay close attention to the details and what our clients’ desires are. We also understand the situation as well.
Death is always hard on those close to the deceased. It can bring forth a lot of different emotions related not only to the deceased but to the family dynamic as a whole. It’s a time when people are often feeling raw and need to process everything that has happened.
Unfortunately, the probate process often happens quickly after the death, so not everyone has had time to really settle into the new situation. We understand all these dynamics and try to ensure that things happen as smoothly as possible for everyone involved. If you need to discuss your probate concerns and needs, contact us today.