What are the top 5 things to look for in an estate planning attorney?

Estate planning is a complex situation. It involves everything from drafting wills to creating a power of attorney, and it is best left to estate planning attorneys to handle this kind of legality. When people begin the search for a great probate attorney for guardianships, Power of Attorney or handle a loved one’s estate, they often have no idea what to look for. The questions they have are more plentiful than the answers, and that’s why an experienced attorney is necessary. Anyone looking for an attorney needs to know what to look for before signing any contracts.

  • An Attorney in Good Standing.

The most important thing to look for in a probate lawyer is one with good standing. To find out if an attorney is in good standing, prospective clients are urged to contact the state bar association. This can be done by visiting the state bar association website or calling and asking for the information at hand.

  • An Attorney Who Specializes in Estate Planning.

Not all attorneys specialize in this area of law, though they say they are familiar with the process. It’s not uncommon for an attorney to offer the service, then refer you to another attorney. It’s always the best idea for clients to educate themselves and be informed before choosing an attorney. Clients should ask questions about the fees involved, including Probate Court costs and filing fees. An attorney is usually the best option for everyone involved in a probate situation.

  • An Attorney with a Good Reputation.

Clients should always take the time to check into an attorney’s reputation. Check local Yelp reviews, read testimonials on the attorney’s website, and ask around to friends and family to find if they have used a local attorney and their experience. Estate planning attorneys are often highly recommended by people who’ve used them in the past, and that’s something all prospective clients should look into. An attorney with a good reputation all over the local area is one worth hiring.

  • An Attorney that Clients Enjoy Working With.

Just because an attorney is good at his job doesn’t mean he’s someone everyone wants to work with. Clients want to work with someone they like and respect. Working with an attorney is a relationship that could exist for weeks or sometimes years. This is why it is recommended clients meet with potential new attorneys before hiring them. A good working relationship is crucial to accomplish what needs to be done efficiently.

  • An Attorney with Experience.

A brand new attorney learns by doing the work. However, not everyone wants a brand new attorney who has not been working with estate planning documents for many years. Experience often leads to better ideas, more comprehensive work time and even fewer billable hours. Find an attorney who has been in the business for a long time, and one who has ample experience planning estates and all that entails.

There is nothing wrong with choosing an attorney based on the information and concerns clients find most important. Some clients don’t care if their attorney is brand new or whether they have limited experience because the fees charged may be less.  The client should make a check list of what they seek in an attorney and then discuss each point with the potential attorney.  Questions are always a good part to any relationship.

The Benefits Of Using A Probate Attorney

The loss of a loved one is a difficult situation. It’s common for people to experience anxiety based on not having the answers to their many questions concerning the decedent’s finances. Depending on an individual’s situation; this may require going to court and proving the will left by the deceased is valid. There could be inventorying as well as identifying a deceased’s property. An appraisal may need to be made of the deceased’s property. Distribution of property and assets in accordance with the dictates of the will or state law may need to take place.

Power of Attorney
Many people wonder if they can still use the power of attorney for their deceased spouse or family member.  No, in Ohio the power of attorney no longer has any legal authority at the moment of a person’s passing. It can no longer be used to transact business in the name of the decedent. When a person passes away, the legal authority to act on behalf of the decedent goes to an executor appointed by a court or a designated administrator of the estate.  A person is not an executor just because one is named in a will.  A person must apply at the proper Probate Court and the Court, if a person is qualified to serve, will issue Letters of Authority. If a trust is involved, then the probate court does not appoint the person to act, the person is named in the Trust document.

Safety Deposit Box
Having access to this will be determined if the decedent is the only registered owner. If this is the case, a person will need to obtain a court order from the probate court showing they are the administrator or executor of the estate. Should the safety deposit box be registered in two names, the surviving owner will continue to have access to it.

Bank Account
When a bank account is only in the name of a decedent, it will be frozen by the financial institution where it is located once they are informed of the person’s passing. In order to gain access to a deceased’s frozen account, it will require a death certificate and Letters of Authority from probate court. A joint bank account with someone other than the decedent’s spouse will automatically be until the remaining person brings in a death certificate and will be given access to the funds in the account.  Joint and Survivorship assets pass directly to a name person and are not probate assets.

Probate Assets
Most assets held by a decedent at the time of death may be subject to probate. There are some assets that will not be subject to probate law. Property held jointly that has a right of survivorship in the ownership documents. Assets that may not be part of a probate are life insurance, as well as annuities, IRAs, pensions and other retirement plans. Deeds that are designed to transfer at death for real estate as well vehicles that have transfer at death in their titles. All assets in a Living Trust at the time a person’s death and more may not be part of a probate.

Probate Attorney
The probate process can be difficult and complicated. Many people may become confused by all the requirements and it is made more difficult if everyone is not getting along. This is a situation where a probate attorney can help. They will know how to file a will with the probate court, get an executor appointed, file necessary paperwork and make certain all legal requirements for an estate are met.  They are also several notices that need to be sent out to the decedent’s heirs that are required to start certain deadlines.

What are the top 5 things someone should look for when hiring a personal injury attorney in Canton, Ohio?

What are the top 5 things someone should look for when hiring a personal injury attorney in Canton, Ohio?

Personal injuries happen every day in Canton, Ohio. Anyone who was injured due to negligence of someone else should retain a lawyer immediately. Finding the best lawyer for the case is sometimes hard. Here are the top five things to look for when hiring a personal injury attorney in Canton, Ohio.

Experience Winning the Type of Case In Question

The first and most important thing to look for is experience in handling the type of personal injury case in question i.e. car accident, slip and fall or wrongful death. The attorney should have years of experience in Canton with a record of filing an action in court and have experience in litigating the claim. That experience should include negotiating favorable settlements as well as successfully litigating personal injury cases through the mediation process and the jury process. Experience is critical since it will allow the lawyer to utilize all of the law to help prove the case and win fair compensation.

Good Resources

Look for a lawyer in Canton, Ohio who has a good amount of resources to dedicate to the case. It is often necessary to provide highly technical testimony and evidence in order to prove the extent of injuries or the things that really happened when the injury occurred. A lawyer with good resources will be able call in expert witnesses, make recreations of the accident and perform extensive research to help the case.

Accessibility and Communication

It is important to find an attorney in Canton who is accessible and good at communicating. Accessibility means that clients will be able to contact the lawyer in some way at nearly any time to leave a message, get advice or ask questions. Ask how quickly the attorney generally responds to client calls and messages. It is also necessary to look for an attorney who communicates well. If the lawyer seems to be unable to effectively communicate legal concepts and ideas, then it is likely time to find someone else.

Compatible Personality

Anyone with a personal injury claim in Canton, Ohio will have to work very closely with an attorney. Trust is required in many cases as the claim progresses. Look for a lawyer with a compatible personality. The personality of the attorney should instill trust and confidence. It should not clash with the personality of the client since this could lead to problems later.

Acceptable Payment Structure

The final thing to look for in a personal injury attorney in Canton, Ohio is an acceptable payment structure. Lawyers can charge in a number of ways. Be certain to understand exactly how the lawyer will be paid. Ask about extra fees and charges that might come if the case goes to trial. Pick the lawyer with the most transparent and favorable payment structure. Make sure the fee agreement is in writing. Also understand who is responsible to pay the case expenses including medical record costs, expert fees and filing fees.