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Question DetailsAsked on 5/8/2013

Where can I find an Estate Lawyer in Leesburg VA

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As I understand it from prior questions, Angies does not rate lawyers.

Estate lawyers are called Probate Attorneys (the legal process of settling an estate is called Probate). Check your yellow pages, or call your local bar association referral line. Typically, if you look in the yellow pages under attorney you will see a referral number - they do NOT recommend attorneys, but will give you about 3 names randomly chosen off a list of attorneys in your area who engage in that type of practice. You can also look on the Amercian Bar Association website - they have a search tool for specific types of practice in each state, as I recall. And of course, Googling. If you have a local personal banker, accountant, tax preparer, financial advisor or stock broker, they might be able to give you a recommendation, too.

As always, personal references are best - from friends or neighbors who have planned an estate or lost loved ones. If you are talking about planning an estate (rather than the estate of a deceased) you might also want to personally consider things like whether you need a large law firm (very complex estate, multi-state, or lots of tax issues) as opoposed to an individual practice (most probate attorney offices only have 1-3 attorneys), age of the attorney (you want him to be around when you die in case there are questions about the Will and documents), if you are more comfortable with an attorney of a certain sex (can make a big difference if you are looking for an estate attorney for an elderly relative to plan their estate, for instance), or prefer one from a specific ethnic group or able to speak a foreign language so they can more readily understand possible cultural factors or language in dealing with an elderly person planning an estate.

You need an attorney you feel comfortable with, and who is comfortable with your - some are happy with you being fully involved inthe planning and process, others just want to sit down with you once and then do all the preparation and planning themselves. Ditto on being executor of an estate for a deceased - the attorney you choose would be different if you plan on doing most of the legwork yourself than if you intend to turn almost all the work over to the attorney and have him deal with accountants, tax preparation, etc.

You also need to consider payment method - some charge flat rate for estate planning and flat percentage for estate execution, others prefer to work by the hour.

Also consider what state the death occurred in, or what state a future estate is likely to be probated in - you need an attorney with license and experience in that state. For instance, if you live in New York but are executing an estate in Florida you need a Florida registered (and preferably sited) attorney, or if you live in New York but are planning on moving to Florida to retire, you need an attorney or law firm (preferably located in Florida) who is licensed and practices in both New York and Florida. In this situation, you need an attorney who know the law in the estate where you currently live (in case you die unexpectedly), as well as in the estate you expect to die in, so the estate preparation works for both states.

Answered 7 years ago by LCD

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