When people decide to get involved in any kind of real estate transaction, one of the first professionals they talk to is a real estate attorney. It is very easy for someone who has no legal experience to be overwhelmed by what a real estate attorney says, but it is important to keep a level head and know the kinds of questions you need to ask to find the right attorney for your real estate transaction.

How Long Have You Been Practicing Real Estate Law?

Commercial and residential real estate law can be very complicated. One of the aspects that makes it so complicated is that the rules and laws can change from county to county. While it is always nice to give a new attorney a chance at your business, an experienced real estate lawyer is going to know the intricacies of real estate transactions in your area and help you to get the best possible results.

What Experience Do You Have With My Type Of Transaction?

Residential real estate transactions are not the same as commercial transactions. There are also differences in the way certain types of commercial real estate transactions are handled as well. When you start interviewing attorneys, be sure that you are hiring one who has worked on your type of transaction in the past.

What Approach Do You Use?

You want a real estate attorney that is going to do more than just make sure all of the paperwork is properly executed. If a survey issue comes up during the buying process, you want to be assured that your attorney is going to contact you and help you solve the problem. You want a proactive attorney who understands that the only way real estate transactions get finalized is when the attorney stays on top of the details.

What Is Your Billing Process?

Most attorneys require a retainer up front, and then send you a bill once a month. But not every attorney bills clients the same way. Some attorneys do not bill for five minute phone calls to clarify something, while others do. It is important that you ask about how your potential real estate attorney bills their customers so that you know what kind of bill to expect as the process moves along.

Will You Be Working On My Transaction?

The more successful attorneys in your area often allow their paralegals to work on certain types of real estate cases. In most situations, the attorney will review any information before it is released, but the information is prepared and researched by someone else. If the idea of someone other than the attorney working on your transaction bothers you, then this is a question you need to ask.

Before you dismiss an attorney who delegates work, it may be worth your time to talk to the paralegals to see if you are comfortable with them. Most attorneys charge a lower rate for the work their paralegals do, and this could be a chance for you to get the legal representation you need at a discounted price.

Before you decide on a real estate attorney, you need to be sure to ask the right questions and find one you are comfortable with. Your attorney will do work on your real estate transaction that could affect you for many years. It is a good idea to be very comfortable with the qualifications of your real estate attorney before you entrust them with your business.

An effective estate planning process requires a working relationship between you and your attorney. Once you decide to engage an attorney in estate planning services, it is important to remember that you have your own set of responsibilities to make sure that your plans go through properly.

The process of having your attorney put together your estate plan is only the beginning of your journey. If you do not understand your role in your estate administration and planning, then you could unknowingly undermine all of the work that your attorney has done. Be wary of your responsibilities and do your part to preserve your estate.

Keep Your Finances A Closed Book

An estate plan usually involves your personal assets and a significant amount of insurance to protect those you love. When you are dealing with an estate, you should keep your financial information to yourself and only share it with trusted advisers and your most immediate family members. You would be surprised at how many people suddenly want to be a part of your life the moment they hear that you have an estate of any kind.

Choose Your Professional Service Representatives Wisely

Obviously, you want to trust the attorney that handles your estate for you because that bond between you and your attorney is critical. But if you decide to take on a new accountant or financial adviser after your estate planning foundation is in place, you should be very careful who you choose.

An organized estate can be easy prey for the wrong people. Your attorney can only do so much to protect you from financial predators. If you do decide to change professional service representatives after your estate is in place, then be sure to check their backgrounds thoroughly.

Be Suspicious Of Emerging Relatives Or Friends

Unfortunately, the world is full of financial predators and nothing attracts these predators more than the idea of having an organized estate. You should do your best to keep your estate planning activities to yourself, but you should also be very suspicious of long lost family members or friends that suddenly want to re-appear into your life. You should also be suspicious of complete strangers who suddenly want to be your friend.

Keep Your Attorney Updated

If your situation has changed at all, then you need to keep your attorney updated. For example, if you remodeled your home and significantly increased its value, then that is something your estate planning attorney would need to know.

It is also extremely important to discuss your beneficiaries with your attorney at least once a year to make sure that you are protecting the right people. If you have a family member who suddenly needs constant medical attention or you yourself experience a medical setback, then you should contact your attorney immediately.

Good estate planning is not a one-way street. Your attorney has all of the administrative responsibility when it comes to your estate planning, but you have responsibilities as well. If you are unwilling to hold up your end of an estate planning process, then there is only so much your attorney can do to protect you and your family. If you are unable to maintain your estate properly, then that is something your attorney needs to know immediately.

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