Choosing a NYC Estate Lawyer
Choosing an estate lawyer for your particular situation is less about having someone tell you what to do and more about finding someone you can trust to guide you through the intricate process. As an executor, beneficiary, creditor, or as someone challenging a will, in addition to the trust factor, you should choose an estate lawyer with a level of success in the field. Although important, your ultimate decision should involve more than your gut feeling of saying “I like this one.” In a successful attorney client relationship, the needs of both parties are met. Because the person you choose is instrumental to your success, both sides must commit to time and accountability.
Good lawyering takes work. It takes commitment. It takes a willingness for both sides to listen and understand each side’s position. It’s also helpful when the client enters the relationship knowing what he or she wants. When choosing counsel to represent you, look for an attorney who displays the following traits:
Responsiveness. People are busy. Lawyers are super busy. In filling emergency motions, attending conference meetings, and running in and out of the courthouse, you may find it difficult to catch your lawyer in their office. While the initial consultation may have addressed all your questions at the time, there are often times when additional questions arise and you need to reach out to the firm. The person you choose should be someone who responds to your emails, calls, or texts within a reasonable amount of time. It’s not a good sign if it takes a law firm nearly one week to email a probate retainer agreement to a new client. It may just be that they prioritize multi million dollar estates and your case may not fit the bill. The takeaway is find someone who is less busy. Big law firms don’t necessarily mean better lawyering.
Genuinely Interested. The law firm you retain should be genuinely interested in getting you best case results. If your goal is to walk away with $100,000, your lawyer’s aim should be to get you double. A great benefit of a solo practitioner or a small firm is that they can develop a genuine connection with a client. There are many times clients contact big firms seeking probate assistance, and end up feeling like a number, not a valued client. Solo practitioners typically answer their own phone, and respond their emails and voicemails within one business day. As the client’s first point of contact, the attorney on the receiving end learns everything they need to know about the case, what the issues are, and what needs to be done. By building a rapport early on, clients know that its not difficult to get in touch when they have questions later on or need a status update. This way, both sides are comfortable moving on to the next phase.
Experience in Estate Matters. An estate litigation law firm typically knows how to effectively bring and a defend a motion challenging a will. If it’s a probate case in which the executor refuses to sell the real property of the estate – because, for example, that’s her rent-free place of residence, – an experienced probate lawyer knows exactly which type of motion to file to have the property listed on the market. So although an estate lawyer bills at a higher hourly rate than a general litigation practitioner, you must weigh the cost of losing your case by hiring cheap inexperienced help to or potentially getting exactly what you want.
Conclusion. This brief list is only a sampling of potential estate lawyer vetting strategies.
Create your own based on what matters most to you, and run through your checklist before retaining a NYC probate law firm. The decision is ultimately up to you, but implementing a selection system can help serve as a gut check tool against your anxiety or inexperience.
At Mishiyeva Law, we have successfully resolved numerous estate cases ranging from will contests, property disputes, fraudulent deed transfers, partition actions, accounting cases, and trust termination matters, to name a few, and have served in-state and out-of-state executors and administrators in settling the estate of a decedent across New York City. Contact us at 646-233-0826 to see if we can assist you with your estate matter. Feel free to directly contact the founder, Kamilla Mishiyeva, at email@example.com to discuss your case.
Attorney Advertising. This page is designed to provide general information. It is not intended to be legal advice. It can not and should not be substituted for proper legal representation. You should consult an attorney for legal advice regarding your rights as every case is unique and requires in depth analysis and preparation. Do not submit confidential information through this website. Contact initiated through this website does not create an attorney-client relationship. We make no warranty or guarantee of the accuracy or reliability of information contained herein.