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Modern Estate Planning Blog

Elder Law & Special Needs Planning

Choosing the Right Probate Lawyer in Sacramento County

February 18, 2012

Probate lawyers in Sacramento are especially knowledgeable in this specific area of law, which means that when you are dealing with an estate that’s going into probate, it makes sense to hire this type of attorney. The range of tasks that a probate attorney can accomplish will save you a significant amount of time, and he or she will make sure that things are done in accordance with the law.

Two Kinds of Probate Lawyers

Your role in the probate process will determine which kind of probate lawyer you want to hire. If you need someone who can handle the administration of the estate and help it move through the probate process, then you are most likely looking for a transactional lawyer. On the other hand, if you are looking for someone to represent you as you make a stand for what you believe should be your rights to the estate, then you would be better suited with a probate litigator.

Keep in mind that many California probate lawyers are skilled in both areas. You’ll want to ask him or her about specific experience and would be well-served to take a look at the attorney’s track record and what others have to say about their experience working with him or her.

Other Things to Consider When Choosing a Probate Lawyer

Another important consideration may be what other areas of expertise that particular attorney brings to the table. For example, if the decedent is leaving behind a business, you may want to find a probate lawyer with specific experience in dealing with these types of estates. If the estate includes a lot of real estate, then you might want a lawyer with a history in property law.

Because the outcome of probate is so important, hiring the right lawyer can make a huge difference. Take a thoughtful approach and ensure that you are working with someone who truly understands and can represent your needs.

How to Find a Probate Lawyer in Sacramento or El Dorado Counties

There are a number of ways to compile your list of potential probate attorneys:

  • Use your search engine – Try typing in “probate attorney,”  “Sacramento County,” or “El Dorado County” and any other specific terms that will help narrow down your choices.
  • Get recommendations – If you know someone who has been through the process, ask them about their experience with their probate lawyer.  Would they recommend him or her? Why or why not?
  • Contact the California bar association. They can direct you toward attorneys who are in good standing.

You can pare down your list of probate lawyers by gathering other information. Look at their web sites and learn about their backgrounds. How long have they been doing the job, as more experience is generally preferable. What are their credentials? What do former clients have to say about them?

And finally, you may want to sit down with a couple of probate lawyers in the Sacramento area to get a feel for their personal interaction style and to determine if you think you will work well together. After all, probate can be a stressful process, and you want someone who can balance the legal aspects and emotional aspects of what you’re going through. You want someone who is a good communicator, can break the process into understandable pieces and will keep you informed of progress, and especially someone who will take the time to explain things to you in a way you can understand. You also want someone who is going to be responsive to your concerns and questions and returns phone calls promptly.

If you would like to get started with the process, we invite you to come meet with a skilled Sacramento County probate attorney here at The Chubb Law Firm for a complimentary consultation with the mention of this article. Simply call (916) 241-9661 to schedule your appointment.

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My wife and I have some quite large complexities both in our individual preferences and the construct of our life. When planning for our trust, Heather took the time to hear EVERYTHING we said. The trust which Heather formed for our family took all our concerns into account. When everything was said and done, we received a trust which, by design, is extremely personal to our circumstance. We also are delighted to have Heather to be part of our team of advocates to help when the time comes.

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