In the past week, we have received calls from two different clients whom we had helped in the past. Each of them called because they were in the process of probating their parent’s estates and both were quite frustrated and wanted our advice. They each said that they had hired the attorney who had drafted the parent’s Will and were not happy with the services. When I asked them why they did not contact us in the first place, they both responded that they thought that they HAD to use the attorney who drafted the Will. This is false. You can choose your own probate attorney if you’d like.
Can You Leave Your Will With Your Attorney For Safekeeping?
When drafting a Will, many clients may leave the original Will with the attorney who drafted it. This choice has both a down side and an up side. The benefit of leaving your Will with the attorney, is that you always know where it is. Most attorneys will keep their clients’ orginal Will documents in a safe deposit box or in some sort of fire-proof vault. So you know your Will is definietly safe.
most attorneys will also give the client several copies of the Will, all of which are stamped with the location of the original Will and the attorney’s contact information, so that the Executor or another interested party, will know where to find the original Will.
Downside of Leaving Your Will with Your Attorney
When leaving your Will with the attorney who drafted it, you make it exponentially more likely that the nominated Executor will retain the lawyer who drafted the Will, which means that the attorney will accrue more legal fees. BUT, what people don’t realize is that you don’t have to stick with the same attorney if you don’t want to.
“I Have to Use the Lawyer Who Drafted My Parent’s
Will to Probate the Estate.”
Is a Common Misconception
Can You Choose Your Own Probate Attorney?
If you have anu questions regarding Probate or Trust Administration we’d be happy to help!
Joan Reed Wilson Esq. – Managing Partner
Practices in the areas of estate planning, elder law, Medicaid planning, conservatorships, probate and trust administration, and real estate. Admitted to practice in the States of Connecticut and California, she is the Vice President of the CT Chapter of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (NAELA), an active member of the Elder Law Section of the Connecticut Bar Association, accredited with the PLAN of CT for Pooled Trusts, with the Veteran’s Administration to assist clients with obtaining Aid & Attendance benefits for long-term care needs and with the Agency on Aging’s CareLink Network.