This month, I thought I would share some of the common misconceptions or fears that people might have about hiring an attorney.
Attorneys are expensive. It depends on why you are hiring an attorney. All situations are different so when one person says, “I paid so much to my attorney,” they might not be telling you everything that happened. Many things are billed as a flat fee (such as estate planning work, forming a corporation or a real estate transaction.) Other matters are billed out on an hourly basis, in (usually) six minute increments. So yes, your fees could be higher, but it all depends. Your attorney will outline everything to you in advance so you feel comfortable and understand the charges you will incur. But, just note that many of the problems that could arise if you don’t secure an attorney could end up being more expensive in the long run.
Attorneys only handle major problems. Nothing is too small to at least have a conversation. For example, when someone calls me, if I can’t help them, I have a wide list of referrals and resources I can share. I know a lot of people! It doesn’t have to be a major problem to be a legal problem. If you feel like you might need assistance, it’s best to call and get a consultation.
Attorneys are intimidating or will judge me. Attorneys have seen and heard it all. We also operate under ethical codes and confidentiality clauses. What you say to your attorney is usually privileged information and you have rights. Also, legalese can be complicated so attorneys are there to explain and help you understand the process. Many people come to me after getting a contract because they want to better understand what they are about to sign. Clarification brings peace of mind.
I can handle the matter myself. This might be the case, but it’s best to have professional help, no matter what the issue. It’s the same as going to a doctor or a mechanic. An attorney is a professional and has the knowledge to get the process moving faster and smoother. An example would be using an online company to prepare your will – sure you can use it – you can use a handwritten will if you want – but if it is not executed with the right number of witnesses and in the proper manner, the will could be invalid.
I don’t want to spend hours in an office. Especially since the pandemic, most attorneys can handle almost any matter virtually. From the telephone to Zoom, there is always a way to work on a case without being in-person. Even signing documents can mostly be done virtually these days.
It’s never too late to call an attorney. Whether you are facing foreclosure, don’t have a will, have questions about a health proxy, aren’t sure what corporate documents you need to secure a loan or are about to buy or sell a home, Sugarman Law is here for you.
In other news, real estate is still hot. Rates have gone up slightly, but are still very low. Inventory is also low, so be prepared before you go in to make an offer so you have the best chance at the buyer accepting it.
On a personal note, my son James got accepted into all three of his colleges of choice. This is a very exciting time for all of us and we can’t wait to hear his final decision on which one he will choose. You better believe we will be drafting up a power of attorney and health care proxy before he heads off in September.
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