California Probate Lawyers: How to Choose Yours (2nd of 2 parts)
How to know if your choosing the right probate lawyer depends on your case, but also on the attorney’s abilities.
You’ve probably heard the old saying that a jack of all trades is a master of none. One way to find out if the probate lawyers you are hiring practice real probate and a number of unrelated fields is by looking at their ads in the Yellow Pages or their website. If their ads show the attorney practices in a number of unrelated fields then you have a jack of all trades.
Furthermore, if the attorney you are thinking of hiring does have an ad in the Yellow Pages then make sure you flip through the other sections of Yellow Page attorneys ads because some attorneys advertise in only one practice area per section. The same attorney has an ad for family law in the family law section, personal injury in the personal injury section, and probate in the probate section then you have a jack of all trades. Keep searching until you find a California lawyer who focuses only on probate.
Always ask a probate lawyer questions before hiring them. For example:
- Ask the probate lawyer what other fields have they practiced in?
If the answers you’re getting are anything other than estate planning, trust litigation, will contests, or probate litigation then you’ve got a jack of all trades. Keep searching until you find someone who focuses only on these areas.
- You should ask the probate lawyer whether they have produced anything to educate their clients about the probate process.
Find out if they have written a book or created a DVD or anything else that helps their clients to understand what is going to happen during the process and what they should expect. You should expect your attorney to provide you with an education so that you can make informed decisions as your case progresses.
- What do past clients of the attorney you are interviewing have to say?
An attorney practicing for any length of time should have testimonials from satisfied clients. Don’t take the testimonials as proof that your case will go smoothly because each case is different. There may be a problem with the attorney whose past clients have no good words to say about their California probate lawyer.
- You should also look at who the attorney has represented.
California Probate Lawyers
Probate lawyers who have represented a combination of banks, private fiduciaries, and individuals are probably a good choice. If the attorney only has represented banks, trust companies, or private fiduciaries, they may be unable to talk to ordinary people.
An attorney who has only represented individuals may not have the knowledge, skill, or experience that a bank expects. Banks can afford to be choosy and they are. They’ve got deep pockets and are targets for liability. Banks choose the best California probate lawyers to represent them in probate court in order to protect themselves.