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How to Choose an Estate Lawyer: 5 Questions to Ask During an Initial Consult


Putting an effective estate plan in place can start with retaining the right lawyer, who should have the skills, knowledge, and insight to help you develop the best solutions for your needs and situation. With the plethora of estate attorneys out there, knowing who you can trust and rely on can be difficult.

To help you get some additional information so you can make the right decision, below are some questions to ask as an estate attorney during an initial consultation. The answers to these questions can be essential to weeding out poor choices and retaining the right lawyer to serve your legal needs moving forward.

During an Initial Consult, Ask…

  1. How much experience do you have devising estate plans for estates like mine? – You will want to choose an estate lawyer who has years – or, more preferably, decades – of experience in estate planning. The reason that experience is so important is that estate planning can be a complicated process, with various laws and other factors to consider. With a less experienced lawyer, it’s far more likely that costly oversights will occur.
  2. What do your past clients have to say about you? Can I have some referrals? – This two-part question can shed some light on the quality of service a lawyer provides and how confident that estate lawyer is about his or her service and reputation. Even if you do not have time to call up referrals, the attorney’s response to these requests can be telling.
  3. What are your rates/fees? – You will want to go with an estate lawyer who charges competitive fees and who can provide you with some type of fee agreement or fee schedule so that you understand how you will be charged for various services. This type of transparency is important, and asking about it upfront can help you understand how honest and professional an estate lawyer may be.
  4. Who will I be working with moving forward? – Just because you speak to a lawyer during an initial consult does not necessarily mean that the lawyer will be the same person handling your estate plan later. So be sure to ask about this upfront and find out if you are talking to the same person who will help you develop your estate plan. If not, consider how comfortable you are with this arrangement.
  5. Why would you be a better option than other estate lawyers I may be considering? – An experienced, confident, skilled estate lawyer should have a persuasive response to this question. So, hear out an attorney and then decide how reliable, trustworthy, and professional you find that lawyer to be. Go with your gut and select an attorney who puts you at ease and makes you confident that your estate planning issues will be resolved favorably.

Contact a Santa Clarita Estate Attorney at the Law Offices of Darrell C. Harriman

When you need superior estate planning services, contact a Santa Clarita wills attorney at the Law Offices of Darrell C. Harriman. Since 1980, our Santa Clarita attorneys have been dedicated to providing people with personalized, highly responsive service, as well as superior representation for their important legal matters.

Contact our firm by calling (818) 892-7093 or by filling out the contact form on this page.

From our offices based in North Hills, we provide the highest quality legal services to our clients throughout the San Fernando Valley, Simi Valley, Santa Clarita, and the greater Los Angeles area.

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