Attorney That Deals with Inheritance
Do you really need a lawyer to explain your inheritance rights to you? Not necessarily. And, even if you do, you might not need that attorney for long, or for much work. Knowing whether you need inheritance counsel is one thing. But how do you interview and select an inheritance lawyer to your liking? 5 things to consider. Straight talk, straight from the horse’s mouth.
Do you even need an attorney that deals with inheritance ?
Let’s face it: not everyone needs an inheritance attorney.
You just don’t.
Lots of times, a trusted family member is handling the Florida Probate with a good estate lawyer who everyone trusts. There are probate rules which provide for information sharing and disclosure.
You know what’s going on, when, and how things are getting done. There’s no will contest, no fighting.
But, what if the trust is not there?
What if the executor or personal representative is not telling you what’s going on in the probate? “Many family members are let down when the estate executor does not communicate, let alone hides information” says Probate Litigation Attorney John Pankauski.
Pankauski tries to reassure prospective clients who may not be trustful of their executor. He lets them know that financial data, assets, money, and property will all be disclosed. Or, should be disclosed. He points you to all the rights which a Florida estate beneficiary has under the Probate Code. And all the duties which an executor is required to follow. But what happens when there’s no exchange of information? “OK…” admits Pankauski “… then most people want to lawyer up.”
What to look for
Let’s say that you decided that you want an attorney who deals with inheritance issues. What do you look for and how to you choose one?
- Age. Age matters ! But so does experience. Look for someone who has done this for 20 years or more. You are getting that lawyer in the “sweet spot” of their career.
- Jack of all trades? Never ! Today is a day of specialization. Look for one who limits her practice to will and probate disputes. Then ask them for their trial experience and the cases that they have worked on to back up what they are telling you.
- Puttin’ on the gloves ! Hopefully you won’t have to litigate. But, if you do, it’s confidence-inspiring if you have a lawyer who’s been in the ring. Who actually tries cases — and not just settles everything. Consider interviewing those who really try probate cases. Ask them to list their trials during the last two years to prove they have the experience. And, remember: “going to court” a lot is WAY DIFFERENT than trying cases. Some Florida probate lawyers may say they go to court all the time, but if you want a litigator, find one who gets in the ring regularly. Make ’em prove it.
- Cost. Good lawyers are, admittedly, expensive. So, find one who is confident in their ability and your case. And you !!! Consider looking for a contingency fee probate litigator if you don’t want to shell out a retainer and pay invoices every month.
- Connection. When you interview the lawyer, is she listening to you? Does he believe you? Can you work well with them? “There needs to be a connection, a case of trust” suggests Pankauski. And, he should know. He got admitted to the Florida Bar in 1993 and only handles this type of disputes.