Wills and Trusts
Wills and Trusts


Wills and Trusts At Morgan Legal Group in New York City, our dedicated estate planning attorneys understand the importance of crafting clear, enforceable wills and

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Estate Planning Lawyer
Estate Planning

When Do I Need a Will?

When Do I Need a Will? Our Estate Planning Lawyer Weighs In Understanding when to create a will is crucial for effective estate planning. At

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4 Questions to Ask a Probate Lawyer Before You Hire Them

Choosing the right probate lawyer is a critical decision that can significantly impact the administration of an estate. At Morgan Legal Group, located in New York City, we specialize in estate planning, probate, elder law, wills, and trusts. Before hiring a probate lawyer, it’s essential to ask the right questions to ensure they are the best fit for your needs. Here are four key questions to ask a probate lawyer before you hire them.

1. What is Your Experience with Probate Cases?

Experience is crucial when it comes to handling probate cases. An experienced probate lawyer will be familiar with the complexities of New York probate law and can navigate the process efficiently. Asking about their experience will help you gauge their expertise and competence.

Why Experience Matters

Experienced probate lawyers have dealt with various scenarios, including contested wills, complex estates, and tax issues. Their knowledge can help streamline the probate process, minimize delays, and ensure that all legal requirements are met. Additionally, they can provide valuable insights and advice based on their past cases.

Sample Question

“Can you describe your experience handling probate cases in New York, including any particularly challenging cases and their outcomes?”

2. What Are Your Fees and Billing Practices?

Understanding the lawyer’s fees and billing practices is essential to avoid unexpected costs. Probate cases can vary significantly in complexity, affecting the overall cost. Ensure that you have a clear understanding of how the lawyer charges for their services.

Types of Fee Structures

Probate lawyers may charge hourly rates, flat fees, or a percentage of the estate’s value. Each fee structure has its pros and cons, and it’s important to choose one that aligns with your budget and the estate’s complexity. Additionally, inquire about any additional costs, such as court fees or administrative expenses.

Sample Question

“Can you provide a detailed breakdown of your fees and explain your billing practices, including any additional costs that may arise during the probate process?”

3. How Will You Communicate with Me During the Probate Process?

Effective communication is vital during the probate process. It would help if you were kept informed of the case’s progress, any issues that arise, and important decisions that need to be made. Understanding how the lawyer will communicate with you can help set expectations and ensure a smooth working relationship.

Communication Methods

Lawyers may communicate via email, phone calls, or in-person meetings. It’s important to establish the preferred method and frequency of communication. Regular updates and prompt responses to your queries can help alleviate stress and keep you informed throughout the process.

Sample Question

“How do you typically communicate with clients during the probate process, and how often can I expect to receive updates on the case?”

4. What is Your Approach to Handling Contested Wills or Disputes?

Probate cases can sometimes involve disputes among heirs or challenges to the validity of the will. It’s essential to know how the lawyer handles contested wills and disputes to ensure that your interests are protected.

Dispute Resolution Strategies

Experienced probate lawyers will have strategies for resolving disputes, whether through negotiation, mediation, or litigation. Understanding their approach can give you confidence in their ability to manage conflicts and protect the estate’s assets. Additionally, inquire about their success rate in handling contested cases.

Sample Question

“How do you handle disputes or contested wills during the probate process, and can you provide examples of successful resolutions in past cases?”


Choosing the right probate lawyer is crucial for the smooth administration of an estate. By asking these key questions, you can ensure that you hire a lawyer who is experienced, transparent about their fees, communicates effectively, and is capable of handling disputes. At Morgan Legal Group, we are dedicated to providing exceptional probate services in New York. Contact us today to schedule a consultation and learn more about how we can assist you with your probate needs.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is it important to hire an experienced probate lawyer?

An experienced probate lawyer is familiar with New York probate law and can efficiently navigate the complexities of the probate process, minimizing delays and ensuring that all legal requirements are met.

What should I expect in terms of fees for a probate lawyer?

Probate lawyers may charge hourly rates, flat fees, or a percentage of the estate’s value. It’s important to discuss and understand the fee structure and any additional costs upfront to avoid unexpected expenses.

How often should a probate lawyer communicate with me during the process?

A probate lawyer should provide regular updates and promptly respond to your queries. The frequency and method of communication should be established at the beginning of the engagement.

What if there is a dispute or contested will during probate?

An experienced probate lawyer will have strategies for resolving disputes, whether through negotiation, mediation, or litigation. Understanding their approach to handling conflicts is essential to protect your interests.

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