What to Expect During Your First Meeting with a Probate Lawyer

To prepare for your first meeting with a lawyer for the administration of an estate you should gather relevant information and documents related to the deceased’s estate. The attorney will need general information about where the deceased lived, who their surviving family members are, whether they had a will or trust, and what their debts and assets are.


At Deckert Law we ask you to fill out a questionnaire that covers much of this information. You should also bring a certified death certificate and any wills, codicils, or trusts the deceased may have. Gathering this information and these documents and emailing them to the attorney before your meeting is helpful, but if not possible, the attorney will be able to review them with you at the initial meeting. 


Your first meeting will last about an hour. During that time, an attorney will review the probate questionnaire with you and gather any additional relevant information. The attorney will determine whether a court proceeding is necessary or if any alternatives for settling the estate are available. If a court proceeding is necessary, you’ll review what to expect during that process including timelines and what needs to be filed with the court. The attorney will give you guidance on immediate steps you should take to secure estate assets including real estate and manage any bills or debts the deceased may have. At this meeting you’ll also discuss the cost of administering an estate and attorney fees. You’ll also have an opportunity to ask questions and discuss potential conflicts surrounding the estate. 


Our goal at Deckert Law is that after your first meeting you will feel prepared for the next steps in administering the estate and have a clear picture for what to expect the administration to look like.

Posted by Molly R. Wiese

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