Estate Lawyer | Probate Lawyer
Westchester County Lawyers
Westchester, New York
If you need a
Probate or Will Lawyer in Westchester, New York, find the best lawyers at
List of Estate Lawyers in Westchester County, NY.
Find a lawyer in List of Estate and Probate Lawyers in Westchester County, to help write a Will and/or Trust. Everyone should have a Will in the event of death. If you cannot write your own will, you will need an Estate Lawyer, or an Estate and Probate Lawyer. Find a Lawyer in one of the many towns of Westchester including Armonk, Bedford, Chappaqua, Katonah, Larchmont, Mamaroneck, Mount Kisco, White Plains, Yonkers, and Yorktown.
Everyone Needs a Will.
A Will states how you want your assets distributed when you die. If you have young children, a Will is the best place to name guardians for your children. Even if you have a Trust, you should have a Will to take care of any holdings outside of that Trust. Dying without a Will, known as dying "intestate", can be expensive for your heirs and may leave you with no say over the distribution of your wealth (personal items, artwork, cars, retirement funds and such).
Estate Planning is the process by which an individual plans for the transfer of his/her assets in anticipation of death. An estate is the total property, real and personal, owned by an individual prior to distribution through a Trust or Will. Real property is real estate; personal property includes everything else, such as: cars, art work, furniture, retirement savings, insurance policies, investments and bank accounts.
Estate Planning ensures, to the degree possible, that your real and personal property is distributed to your heirs in accordance with your wishes. A properly structured Estate Plan ensures this distribution is executed with the minimum estate tax possible. An estate plan aims to preserve the maximum amount of wealth possible for the beneficiaries. However, a major concern when drafting an estate plan is federal and state tax law. If you're looking for an Estate and Probate Lawyer Select a lawyer and then select a town in Westchester, NY.
Probate is the process that transfers legal title of property from the estate of the decedent (person who died) to the decedent's proper beneficiaries. The term "probate" refers to a "proving" of the existence of a valid Will, or determining and proving who one's legal heirs are if there is no Will. Probate is the process used to determine who receives the property of the deceased.
Select an Attorney
Before selecting an attorney, research the area of law in which you are interested. As an example, type the following into a search: Estate & Probate law, Real Estate law, Child Custody law etc. Read and learn about the area of law to which your circumstances apply. You are not expected to become proficient in this area of law - that is why you are hiring an attorney. However, this exercise will help you to formulate questions and prepare you for your first consultation visit.
Find a Lawyer Using the Internet
Once you've established a basic understanding of the area of law in which you are interested - start looking for the right attorney to represent you. Find a list of lawyers in your town or county. Once again, use the Internet to help you. Type: lawyers in white plains, lawyers in westchester county, lawyers in yonkers. You can narrow your search by entering both the location and area of law for which you need a lawyer. For example: real estate lawyer white plains, divorce lawyer white plains, employment lawyer white plains, etc. Or, to find a lawyer in White Plains Select a lawyer and then select White Plains, NY.
Find a Lawyer through your Community
In addition to using the Internet to help you find a lawyer, you may also want to ask friends, local organizations, or religious leader for lawyer referrals. Once you have list of lawyers to call - check them out. Look at their websites and be sure to see if they have experience in your particular area of law. The attorney's website may also list the type of clients they typically represent in addition to information about each lawyer in their law firm.
New York State Bar Association
Be sure to check if the lawyer you've selected is reputable. Contact you state bar association to verify the qualifications of the lawyer. If you can't afford to pay a lawyer, there may be a legal services association that can help. Military Personnel may be able to get free legal advice.
Schedule a Consultation with Lawyer
Once you've narrowed your search to a few names of lawyers that may be able to handle your situation, schedule a meeting with one or more of the lawyers. Be sure to have a list of questions and concerns ready to discuss. Write down any issues you may have. Don't rely on your memory since you are often distressed in this type of situation and may not be able to remember all of your concerns. Your consultation visit is very important. Note down your likes and dislikes.
Consider all Issues and Ask Questions
Before scheduling your consultation ask "How much is the consultation fee?" Some law firms do not charge for a consultation. During the consultation:
Discuss all foreseeable costs:
At the end of the consultations process you should be able to select a lawyer.
Does the lawyer charge by the hour - If yes, how much? Is there a non-refundable retainer fee?
Will the attorney take this case on a contingency basis? If you do not want to pay by the hour and/or do not have the money to pay an up-front retainer - the lawyer may agree to a contingency fee. Contingency fees are typically in the range of 20% to 40%.
Who pays for other costs? Other costs may include: Clerical costs (copying, research, compiling exhibits, deposition fees (interviewing witnesses), Court fees (if applicable), expert witness fees . . .
Ask about your specific area of law. How often has this lawyer handled this area of law. What percentage of lawyer's practice involves this law discipline? For example: What percentage of this practice involves Real Estate clients? What percentage of this practice handle Child Custody cases?
When you first meet, let the lawyer initiate the conversation and questions. Try to relax and learn about this lawyer and their law firm. Often, a lawyer will want to learn about you as much as you want to learn about her/him. At the end of the meeting, determine if you feel comfortable and confident about both the lawyer and the law firm?
You are looking for the best practical legal advice. In order for this to happen, be sure that you are prepared for your consultation. Bring in any and all relevant documents, notes, and anything you think will clarify and explain your particular situation. Remember that you are in a special conversation protected by lawyer-client confidentiality. Do NOT leave any information out. Tell the lawyer everything relevant, even if you end up selecting another attorney.
Once you've selected your lawyer you will be given a retainer agreement. Do not sign this document until you fully understand all legal implications of the document.
Once you and your attorney have agreed to work together, your lawyer will direct you in how to proceed.
Exchange emails, phone numbers, and keep all lines of communication open and on a regular basis as you proceed with your case.