Inheritance Lawyer in Florida — do you really need one?
When do you really need an inheritance lawyer in Florida? Well, let’s first understand what one is. Then, we can discuss the most common times that people hire one. Finally, we’ll close by considering 6 factors to consider when you are interviewing one.
What is an inheritance lawyer?
An inheritance lawyer in Florida is one who can assist, counsel, guide or litigate legal matters for you. About what? Well, not everything. Involving inheritances. Property, property rights or money which you may get when someone passes away. Or… when a prior property interest ends. Like if you inherit a trust. OK…so…when? Under what circumstances?
The most common are two areas of Florida law. Estates and probates. And Trusts.
One may be a counselor. Informing and educating you about, for example, the probate process. Or how trusts work in Florida. Advising you on fiduciary fees, administration of an estate or trust. Giving you straight-talk and easy-to-understand explanations about what you are supposed to inherit and when.
One may be an advocate. This advocate role of an inheritance lawyer will take a stand for you. Argue in court. File papers for you. And, also explain what court-filed documents are, what they mean, and how they affect you. An advocate is biased ! For you ! Most people want someone on their side.
Or, one can be a probate litigator. You know, the type that isn’t afraid to “get dirty”. Who actually tries cases and handles appeals. They typically limit their practice to disputes and trials involving wills trusts and estate. Like when you suspect trust fraud.
Yes, this kind of lawyer is different than, for example, one who writes wills and trusts or handles real estate.
What you should look for?
Factors + Facts
What factors do you want in your inheritance lawyer?
First, let’s consider the most common times you may need one. When you get notice that there is a trust and you are a beneficiary. Or when someone dies. Or, you receive documents about a probate court proceeding. Maybe someone started administering the estate. Don’t want to be left out, right?
Here are some factors that may assist you in interviewing one:
- Experience. Consider someone who has practiced for over 20 years.
- Trials. If you want “fire power”, consider hiring an experienced probate litigator who has been commended and recognized by their peers.
- Specialization. Consider those who limit their practice to this area of Florida law, rather than hiring a jack of all trades?
- Communication. Have the lawyer who you are interviewing be upfront with you. Will you be kept updated and involved of your case? Will you be able to communicate effectively?
- Flexibility and fees. Consider confident lawyers who are willing to get creative on the fees. Yes, good lawyers can be expensive. But you may find a confident lawyer who will take your case on a contingency fee basis. You only pay if you get something.
The truth is that in many instances, you really don’t need one. If you trust the personal representative or executor of the estate, or your trustee, why spend the money? And if there is not a lot of money to “fight” over, why devote that time and money ? Whether you need one and want to spend money on one is often a personal and financial decision.