Tag: Portland Attorney

Senior couple meeting over a desk with a female attorney.

How Do I Find an Attorney to Help Prepare My Estate?

Making plans for your loved ones in the event of your death or incapacitation is one of the most important things you will ever do. You need to find the best person for the role. An estate attorney in Portland can help you make the appropriate decisions and legal arrangements. But how do you hire one? Read on for tips to help you find an attorney to help you with this important work.

Get a Referral From a Friend

People often speak with friends first to find referrals. If you have a friend who has already been through the same process and you trust their judgment, ask for the contact details of the attorney they went with. Of course, you still need to make sure this attorney is right for you, but a recommendation is a great place to start.

Get a Referral From an Attorney

Getting a referral from an attorney who has worked for you in the past and who you believe has good judgment is a great way of finding someone who can help you prepare your estate. Attorneys will have plenty of contacts among other attorneys who specialize in this area and will be able to point you in the right direction.

Search Google for an Estate Attorney Portland

Another option when looking for an estate attorney in Portland is to do a quick Google search. Google searches can help you find more or less anything you want nowadays, however, be careful. You must make sure that the attorneys you find are reputable. Just because they rank highly on Google, does not mean that they are necessarily the best in the business. Do your due diligence and check out what the reputation of the firm and the attorney you will be dealing with before you put any money down.

Vetting Potential Attorneys

Check If the Attorney Has Malpractice Insurance

Having malpractice insurance is a sign of accountability. Everyone makes mistakes sometimes, so you should not hire an attorney who does not have malpractice insurance. In some states, it’s not a legal requirement for an attorney to have this type of insurance. But make sure that you are not caught out by an attorney who doesn’t have it.

A good tip to know is that attorneys who are incorporated (usually signified by having PC or APC after the name of their firm) have to keep malpractice insurance in most states.

Check What Law School the Attorney Went To

Some law schools are harder to get into than others, and these are the schools that tend to have the highest standards. The law school ranking system has four tiers, with the first tier being the most difficult to get into. Asking the attorney you are thinking of going with what law school they went to can tell you about their training and help you in deciding whether you want to hire them.

Ask How Long They Have Been Practicing

New attorneys lack the experience of attorneys who have been practicing for longer periods of time. For a role this important, it’s better to pick someone who has been practicing for a long time and dealt with a variety of situations. This increases the likelihood of you and your estate being in good hands.

Ask Exactly What Their Charges Are

Estate attorneys in Portland usually charge flat fees, rather than billing by the hour. Occasionally, attorneys do both and charge a fixed rate for some services but an hourly rate for others. Checking exactly what their rates are beforehand can ensure there are no surprises.

Ask If There Is Someone Else in the Office Who Can Answer Your Questions

While most estate-planning attorneys aim to make themselves available as much as possible, there are occasionally times when these attorneys are not contactable. If it’s important for you to have someone who can answer your questions expediently all the time, find out if you will be able to talk to one of their colleagues in this eventuality.

Questions for You to Think About When Meeting an Attorney

  • Do you have good rapport with this person?
  • Does this attorney communicate effectively and clearly?
  • Would you be happy talking about this person regarding personal matters relating to your estate?
  • Do you trust this person?

If you answer “yes” to all of these questions, this is further indication this attorney is the right person for the job.

What Should I Do Before Meeting a Potential Estate Attorney?

Before you meet with any potential estate attorneys, there are a few things you should do:

  • Write down your contact information and the contact details of the people who will be affected by this matter.
  • Have a good idea of what it is that you would like to achieve. If there are some things that you are uncertain of, a good estate attorney will be able to help you with this.
    Get the required documents and put them together in a logical order.
  • Write down as many things as you can about your situation. Doing this will help to speed things up while you are with the attorney. Remember, that attorneys tend to charge fairly high rates per hour, so doing this can help to save you money.
  • Make copies of the documents that you will give to your attorney, as you may need to look at them at a later date.

Conclusion

If you follow all the tips in this article, you will stand a good chance of finding an attorney who can skillfully carry out your wishes regarding your estate.

Warren Allen LLP has been serving Portland and the Pacific Northwest since 1971, and we have a great deal of experience in preparing estates. We know how important it is to make sure that those that you care for are provided for after you’re gone. You can be sure that your case is in safe hands with us.

Male family law attorney shaking hands with male client.

5 Tips for Finding the Best Family Law Attorney in Portland

When you experience a distressing situation in your family that needs potential legal intervention, looking for a family lawyer is the best way to proceed. However, choosing a family law attorney can be stressful. In the absence of adequate due diligence, you may end up with one who cannot give you the desired results.

So how do you go about choosing one? To make the process easier for you, here are Warren Allen’s five tips for finding the best Portland family law attorney without any hassle.

1. Always Go with an Expert

Family law is complex, as the interpretation of the law can change with every new case. Your attorney should be able to identify the core issues right away and provide tailored advice. They should also know the various practices and legal procedures followed by family law courts in the region.

The best way to narrow down your options to the most qualified experts is by browsing through attorney profiles available online to assess the experience of each lawyer, their educational qualifications, and the types of cases they have dealt with. You can prepare an initial shortlist and start a deep dive to assess each of the profiles in-depth.

You can start reading the blog posts and articles published by such lawyers to know more about their work. There may be a lot of general practitioners in the market, but your goal should be to find someone who specializes in family law.

You can look up their social media handles to see the type of posts they have. You can assess your lawyer by asking questions. For example, if you’re approaching a Portland family law attorney for a divorce case, ask them about the recent cases they have dealt with and the outcomes. You can also ask if they’re willing to take on difficult matters for representation. Moreover, an expert attorney will keep track of recent developments in the field of family law. So the more questions you ask, the better it will be to assess their expertise. While this may sound like a lot of work, it can give you a clear sense of whether you want to work with a particular attorney.

2. Make Sure Your Lawyer Is Easily Accessible

Your Portland family law attorney should be someone you can contact easily and receive quick responses. With many family matters, things can go from bad to worse very quickly. Having an attorney who is prompt with turnarounds can go a long way in helping you navigate through complex legal issues.

Your attorney must be able to simplify legal jargon and explain it to you in layperson’s terms. If your lawyer is bombarding you with too much jargon or doesn’t make you feel at ease about your issues, it’s probably a huge red flag. After all, family law involves a lot of complex emotions, and that’s why your lawyer must make you feel comfortable.

In addition to that, also take into consideration the location of the attorney’s office. If it is too far away from where you live, it can be immensely stressful to keep traveling for in-person meetings. Having a local attorney who is closer to home also means you can schedule more face-to-face appointments to discuss the challenges you face.

3. Know What You Want

Too many begin on a wild goose chase to hunt down a Portland family law attorney without knowing what they expect as an outcome. Plus, unsolicited advice from family and friends can make it even more overwhelming for a person to have clarity about the end goal.

If you find yourself in a similar situation, it’s time to take a step back and think. Write down the problem that you’re facing and the outcomes you’re expecting. You should also spend time thinking about the best alternative to your hoped-for outcome.

Doing this will help you find a lawyer who’s more suited to your needs. For instance, if you’re engaged in a custody battle but you don’t want things to get too heated up in the court, choosing an attorney who’s known to be too aggressive in the court may not be ideal, even though such a lawyer may have many years of expertise under their belt.

4. Be Clear About the Costs

Hiring a family law attorney doesn’t come cheap. To avoid any last-minute surprises, it’s best to iron out costs and fees right in the beginning. Usually, attorneys like to charge a retainer fee and then work by the hour, but you may have the option to work out alternative arrangements. Also, make sure to ask about any out-of-pocket or overhead costs (such as travel expenses, postage charges, filing charges with the court, etc.) that you may need to bear as the client.

Asking for discounted rates is also a common practice in the industry. Don’t hesitate to have a conversation if you think you may not be able to work with the fees quoted by your attorney.

5. Ask People Around You

Word-of-mouth references are a great seal of approval for an attorney. You can always ask your friends and family members to pass on references of lawyers they have worked with. Moreover, if you’ve worked with other attorneys, such as a personal injury attorney attorney for another matter, you can also ask them for referrals.

However, be mindful that when it comes to legal problems, there is no one-size-fits-all approach you can take. Ensure that the lawyer you choose is the right fit for you.

Working with an experienced family law attorney can help you get through challenging legal issues and give you the results you deserve. If you’re looking for a Portland family law attorney, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us. Our team of experienced family law lawyers at Warren Allen is here to help you overcome any challenging situation in the field of family law.

 

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