You’ve seen the awards. Every week, it seems that another publication has a list.
Best Probate Lawyer in Michigan
Top Probate Lawyer in Michigan
Who’s Who of Probate Lawyers
Super Probate Lawyer in Michigan
These publications purportedly create these lists using all sorts of criteria. Of course, each publication claims to be the most highly-respected peer review guide. Today, there are more than 1,200 legal rankings, according to an estimate by Jaffe PR. While some rankings are based on objective criteria or a survey of peer lawyers, many are handed out on a pay to play basis.
I have been the recipient of some of these awards and they adorn my office walls. Yet, I am honest to declare that any award proclaiming me to be a “best probate lawyer” or something similar is really meaningless. The reality is these awards have no value to a client’s particular needs. Simply stated, an attorney’s plaque that states “Best Probate Lawyer” will have no impact on your case.
Like choosing a physician or an accountant, the selection of a lawyer should be done carefully. The awards and accolades of the particular lawyer have no bearing on whether the lawyer will serve your interest, whether the lawyer will return your telephone calls, hold your hand, or be mindful or compassionate to your needs.
The Best Probate Lawyer is Carefully Selected by the Client
The initial consultation should be treated as an interview of the lawyer. A thorough review of your issues is the only way to adequately quote a fee and ascertain whether that probate lawyer is the right person for you.
Here are some wise questions to ask the lawyer at your initial consultation to gauge whether you are hiring the best probate lawyer for your particular needs.
- What are of law do you specialize in?
- What percentage of your practice is devoted to probate (litigation, administration, planning)?
- How many situations similar to mine do you handle in a year?
- How often you do work on conflicts that end up in getting litigated?
- Described the timeline of how my case should proceed?
- How will you maintain communication with me? How often?
- Please explain your billing process.
- Based on what you know about my case, what are the strengths and weaknesses of my case?
Selecting the Best Probate Lawyer Takes Time
Take the time to get to know the lawyer. Remember, probate is a highly specialized field. Be cautious with the lawyer whose practice includes multiple areas. Many lawyers practice probate law as a means of supplementing their income. It is advisable to hire a lawyer who knows probate law so well that the lawyer does not waste energy or time learning the law which may be costly and cause delays. The probate lawyer should have a sufficient team of lawyers and paralegals to address your specific needs.
The best probate lawyer should be competent, compassionate and honest. A competent probate lawyer knows the law. A compassionate probate lawyer will ask the client what the goals are. An honest probate lawyer will tell the client if the goals are achievable.
The difference between a good and the best probate lawyer is in the details. The best probate lawyer is the probate lawyer that meets your specific goals.
By consulting The Probate Pro, you can ensure a commitment to the core values that have allowed our firm to grow into the leading probate and trust law firm in Michigan.