Selecting a Probate attorney
April 11, 2005 9:12 AM   Subscribe

I need advice on how to select a competent, reasonably-priced estate attorney knowledgeable in Maryland probate law. Ancillary question: how important is it that he or she be a member of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel

I've been named executor on what *appears* to be a reasonably straight-forward probate situation: no real estate, no existing businesses or corporations, no minors, just securities and other liquid assets divided among three adult siblings who get along. Nonetheless, as the Inspector reminds us, "a man's got to know his limitations," and I'm waay out of my depth on this.
posted by mojohand to Law & Government (1 answer total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Bravo for being a smart client! Lots of people (attorneys, too) think that any fool admitted to the bar can draft a will and probate an estate (along with closing a house sale and fixing parking tickets). T'aint always true, and specialists clean up the messes that generalists sometimes make in these areas. (I speak as a trusts and estates specialist, in case you hadn't guessed.) That said, there are undoubtedly lots of attorneys in Maryland who are qualified to assist you in handling this estate. The local and state bar associations will have lists of attorneys who meet your requirements. You may also ask co-workers, friends, etc., for recommendations, pro and con. I'm not sure why you would require an attorney who is a member of ACTEC, unless you have reason to suspect that this estate may be more complicated than it first appears. Using ACTEC counsel in a simple estate is like swatting a gnat with a brick.
I practice in New York, but if you come up dry, email me (address in profile) and I'll see if I can find a Maryland referral for you.
posted by redfisch at 11:14 AM on April 11, 2005

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