The Why, When and Who of Choosing a Lawyer.
Knowing when you need a lawyer, if your specific problem requires a lawyers expertise and which lawyer to consult can be the first hurdle in resolving your problem. Areas to consider include contracts, consumer rights, estate planning, insurance coverage, marital issues, real estate transactions, accidents, retirement planning and wills.
You should review your legal papers about once a year to see if the relevant plans and documents reflect your current needs. Marital difficulties are fraught with legal pitfalls. Also, any time youre injured in an accident of any kind, including a work related accident, you should consult with your attorney to determine your rights.
Many times you can make your own determination that problems exist and take your own measures to correct them. For example, if you see that your property insurance is inadequate, you may want to increase your homeowner's insurance to protect yourself from possible losses. Sometimes a specific event such as the birth or death of a loved one will cause you seek legal advise.
If you are not sure of the solution to your problem or whether you need a lawyer to help you, you probably do. A lawyer knows how to identify legal problems and advise you of the solutions. He can review your family situation, finances, home and real estate ownership, employment, investments and business interests. If remedial action is needed, your lawyer can recommend additional services such as changing your will, preparing a durable power of attorney for elderly parents or preparing a lease for rental property.
Your lawyer can help you to avoid legal problems and solve them when they are unavoidable. He or she can give you valuable advice during major events in your life: marriage, divorce, responding to an accident or buying and selling a home. Sometimes the solution is simply the preparation of a document to protect your rights or establish your preferences. At other times, a problem may require that your lawyer start a lawsuit to protect or defend your rights.
It is important to see your lawyer early; before a problem occurs, or if there is already a problem, before it becomes more aggravated and costly. For example, if you are seriously injured in an auto accident, contact a lawyer promptly so that evidence can be gathered from the accident site and witnesses interviewed before the memories fade. If you are buying or selling a home, be sure to see your lawyer before signing a contract.
Your lawyer should be a person who has a solid background in the type of problem which you are encountering. Ask him if he handles your type of case and what experience he has in the area. He should be a person you can talk to and feel comfortable with and have confidence in. Do not be afraid to ask for explanations of the law of your case and of the procedures and steps needed to solve the matter. Most importantly, do not be afraid to discuss the cost of the legal work which you anticipate having done. Professional ethics require that your attorney fully explain his method of billing and services to be performed for that compensation.
This information is presented as a service of Kahle & Associates, Attorneys at Law
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