1 of 5 – REPUTATION

At a time like this you need a lawyer that is reputable, ask friends or family for recommendations. A good lawyer will have left a lasting good impression on their clients who would be happy to suggest them to deal with your matter. You can also check reviews on independent sites such as www.checkaprofessional.com

2 of 5 – EMPATHY

The reality of administering an estate can be full of emotion and grief; that is why it is important that the lawyer dealing with the estate is empathetic and able to take away your worries in relation to the paperwork which can seem daunting at such an emotional and stressful time. A good lawyer should be able to reduce the worry and stress associated with administering an estate.

3 of 5 – SPECIALISED

It’s important that the lawyer is a specialist in estate administration as it can be very complex especially when dealing with the taxes that are incurred as a result of someone’s death,  for example Inheritance Tax. Make sure that the lawyer dealing with the matter has accreditations; such as Solicitors for the Elderly (SFE http://www.sfe.legal/), Society of Trusts and Estate Practitioners (STEPhttp://www.step.org/) and other schemes are available for you to search for a specialised lawyer. This means they will have had additional training to enable them to deal with your matter in a sensitive and practical manner.

4 of 5 – QUALIFIED

Don’t assume someone is a qualified solicitor or accredited lawyer without checking.  In England you can check on http://solicitors.lawsociety.org.uk/?Pro=True orhttp://www.cilexregulation.org.uk/consumers/directory-of-practitioners

This will also show you if they have awards or specialist accreditations in estate administration law.

5 of 5 – PRICE

Administering an estate may seem expensive when consulting lawyers. However, when you consider how many rules and regulations are in place when administering an estate and the process that has to be followed you cannot put a price on peace of mind. You may find quite a variation in hourly rates or fixed fees if you ring around your local area.  The cheapest option is not always the best option, fixed fees often appear cheaper so make sure you understand what is included in the fixed fee bundle as it may not include everything you need as every estate is different.