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Legal Advice

The death of a loved one can mean that you will need to find an attorney to help with the process of estate settlement with estate legal advice . While it isn’t necessary to have an attorney prepare an advance directive, it can be advantageous to have one prepare your will or any other estate-related documents.
We have some suggestions to help you find the best attorney to provide the kind of legal services you need:
  • Think specialization. You don’t need just any attorney; you’re looking for someone with experience in a particular aspect of the law.
  • Ask around. There’s nothing like a personal referral from someone you trust. Talk to friends, family, co-workers, and neighbors to see if they can recommend an attorney with the right expertise.
  • Get in touch with the local Bar Association. It will have directory of all practicing lawyers in your area.
  • Visit legal aid websites. These organizations can provide you with trusted referrals and legal consultation services.

The Next Step in Getting Legal Help

At this point, you should have a list of four or five recommended local attorneys. Now it’s time to make that first call. You should first ask to set up a face-to-face meeting but be aware that many attorneys charge for this introductory session. That’s why your first question should be: “Do you charge for the initial visit?”


If you do agree to a face-to-face meeting, it’s important to ask the following questions but be observant too. Look around: is the office organized? Is he or she listening closely to what you have to say? What is your gut feeling to what you’re seeing and hearing? Trust your intuition; if you don’t feel you are a good match, then move on to the next attorney on your list.
The questions to ask in your initial interview are:
  • Do you specialize in my type of case?
  • Do you have any special credentials?
  • Exactly who will handle my case; the attorney or a paralegal?
  • Who will be my point-of-contact?
  • What’s the preferred way to communicate with your office?
  • Will I be billed for phone calls and email correspondence with either the attorney or staff?
  • How will I be informed about any progress in my case?
  • How will fees be calculated? Hourly, contingency, or flat fee? If I will be billed hourly, will I be required to pay for portions of an hour?
  • What expenses am I responsible for?
  • How often can I expect to receive a bill?
  • Is advance payment required? What happens to that money if I terminate the case before it’s resolved?
  • Will I receive copies of all documents pertaining to my case?
When you’re satisfied you’ve found the right attorney at the right price, always ask for a written agreement and read it thoroughly. If you have questions about what you’ve read, ask them before you sign.