How to Choose a Probate Lawyer after a Loved One Has Passed Away

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Someone close to you has passed away and you’ve been told there’s all sorts of paperwork that has to be done for the estate. You’ve been told you have to extract “some sort of grant” but you’re not too clear about what you’re supposed to do.

You’re already dealing with a tough loss. The last thing you want to do is to look for a lawyer to wrap up the paperwork for the deceased’s estate.

While the grieving period is definitely a difficult one, you should never underestimate the value of hiring a good probate lawyer to handle the extraction of the Grant of Probate or Grant of Letters of Administration.

Why Do You Need a Probate Lawyer?

The probate process is a tedious and time-consuming one. For someone unfamiliar with the procedures, extracting probate can take a much longer time than it usually would. A qualified Singapore lawyer can usually process this much quicker and with less mistakes.

However, choosing the right probate lawyer is no easy task. These are some tips which will help you to choose the correct probate lawyer for your matter.

Tips on Choosing the Right Probate Lawyer

1. Ask for recommendations

Inquire within your social groups whether anyone can recommend you a good probate lawyer. It’s possible that someone you know has hired a lawyer to handle a probate matter before.

If their reviews of that lawyer or law firm are generally positive, that lawyer would probably be a strong potential candidate.

2. Make appointments with 2 to 3 probate lawyers to speak with them

Aside from recommendations, you may also want to consider speaking with a few other probate lawyers to find out which lawyer you would prefer to work with.

Different probate lawyers will have differing styles and fee structures in handling probate matters and you may want to find a lawyer that will be the best fit with you and your budget.

You’ll want to look for lawyers who are well-versed in estate-planning matters. While the years of experience the lawyer has is important, what’s more important is the experience the lawyer has in handling probate matters.

It’s also a good idea to ask for the lawyer’s fee quote. Legal fees for probate can vary quite a fair bit and it’s a good idea to get an estimate before you head over to speak with the lawyer.

While even non-contentious probate matters can have their complications, the work is largely procedural. Lawyers who do a lot of work in this area should therefore be able to give you a fixed-fee quote or, at the very least, a close estimate. If your matter happens to be more complex, they should also be able to explain to you why the fees may vary.

3. Arrange a list of questions for the lawyer

Prepare a short list of questions to ask the lawyers you meet. This will help you to find out whether the lawyer you’re speaking with has the experience to help you in this area.

Most probate lawyers will be willing to answer any questions you have, provided you don’t go overboard with them. Some examples of the questions you might want to ask a probate lawyer include:

  1. How many probate matters have you handled to date?
  2. What are the fees you charge for getting the Grant of Probate or Letters of Administration?
  3. (If relevant) The deceased owns property in another country. Can you assist in handling the probate process there?
  4. How long will it take to get the Grant of Probate or Grant of Letters of Administration?
  5. What will I need to do during this probate process?

Finding a lawyer who is competent to handle a probate matter isn’t necessarily the most difficult aspect of finding the right probate lawyer. Probate matters are largely administrative and you don’t need the most battle-hardened trial lawyer to handle your matter for exorbitant sums of money.

The lawyer you hire should be someone you’re comfortable with and who can explain the probate process to you clearly without spewing legalese.

If your lawyer can’t seem to speak plainly and is confusing you even further, that lawyer probably isn’t the right one for you.