Skip to Content
Klenk Law

Common Grievances Against Probate and Estate Planning Lawyers

Posted on Mon Oct 5, 2009, on Estate Planning

Last Updated November 30, 2017: Common Grievances Against Probate and Estate Planning Lawyers.

 

A recent Florida Bar Journal reported on the most common complaints against Estate Planning and Probate attorneys. This article describes how our firm guards against client complaints by addressing these issues before they arise.

Common Grievances Against Probate and Estate Planning Lawyers:

Poor Communication:

The article reports that poor communication is the most common complaint against Estate Planning Attorneys or Probate lawyers.

Amazingly, some attorneys and lawyers simply fail to return phone calls. Our firm has a standing policy to return all client phone calls within 24 hours. This policy keeps communication going with clients and, in most cases, keeps misunderstandings from arising.

Most Probate and Estate Planning related cases affect clients unfamiliar with this area of the law. By answering questions and keeping clients informed we have built up an excellent practice. Satisfied estate planning clients, in turn, refer us to friends and family for other Estate Planning and Probate cases.

Lack of Experience and Competence:

Another common complaint is that a lawyer unfamiliar with Probate or Estate Planning takes on a Probate or Estate Planning matter. The inexperienced lawyer then flounders in this highly technical area.  Hence, many billable hours, but few results.

At the Law Offices of Peter Klenk, we only work with Estate Planning, Probate and Estate related Litigation cases. Since 1995 we have done nothing else, it is all we do. If a client has some other matter, such as a divorce or personal injury case, we don’t take the case and muddle through. Instead, we refer the case out. We stick with what we know.

Excessive Fees:

Unfortunately some attorneys… especially those who don’t understand the Estate Planning and Probate area… charge a client based on a percentage fee rather than billable hours and then do very little work.

At our firm, we bill hourly. If the job is simple or difficult, you pay us for what work we do. We also keep excellent records to back up our fees, where many attorneys only provide clients vague lists without detail.

Conflicts of Interests:

Some attorneys… usually those unfamiliar with Estate Planning and Probate… will take on clients with conflicting interests without fully understanding the conflict or informing the client of the conflict. You can imagine that working for both a parent and children when negotiating an inta-family sale or representing all siblings when trying to settle a contentious estate can present problems when the attorney is supposed to defend each client’s interests.

An attorney can represent conflicting sides as long as each affected clients give an informed consent. In some circumstances, such representation is the best choice for everyone involved.  But unless you are familiar with Estate Planning it is difficult to judge when this is the case.

Another practice that often leads to conflict is the attorney who is named by the client as power of attorney. I find that it is rare that a client has no one other than the lawyer to name as having this power and if there is no one else, I would only take on the job after documenting the reason and getting written consent from the client explaining all options available.

Being a good Estate Planning and Probate attorney requires years of experience and specialized training, but having a good legal practice focusing on Estate Planning and Probate while keeping clients satisfied is another matter entirely. At the Law Offices of Peter Klenk, we strive to be excellent Estate Planning and Probate Lawyers as well as provide excellent client service.

Common Grievances Against Probate and Estate Planning Lawyers

In conclusion, in this Post, I tried to address the Common Grievances Against Probate and Estate Planning Lawyers.  So, let me know how I did.  Comments and questions are welcome!

If you have an Estate Planning or Probate related question, please contact us for a free consultation. We would love to be your lawyer!

 

Tags:

Florida

What Our clients are saying

Stars

Peter provided outstanding advice and preparation of a will and trusts.

Stars

Peter was excellent. He explained everything very clearly and is super friendly. My wife and I originally tried using a lawyer through group legal coverage, but unfortunately the old adage - "you get what you pay for" - applied to the other lawyer, and we decided to go with a real professional.

Stars

When it came down to picking the right attorney to handle my affairs, I knew right away it was this firm. From speaking to their secretary to speaking to Peter I knew I was making the right decision. After only a few mins Peter knew right away what I was looking for and handled all my questions professionally and even gave me great feedback that put my mind at ease. All that without even giving a single penny! So of course I hired him! So far so good...

Stars

AWESOME LAWYER! Peter Klenk is an exceptional attorney and a very nice person! Today I spoke with Peter about estate planning and was impressed with by his professionalism, cordiality, and attention to detail. I highly recommend Klenk Law for probates, wills, trusts, and other issues germane to estate planning!

Stars

Great friendly staff

Stars

Tremendous firm with bright, kind and tenacious people. Great representation for our family.

Stars

I'm totally satisfied with Klenk Law. Peter has a great legal mind with the personality of the guy next door.

Stars

Everything about my experience was a 10+! Peter and his staff made what I thought would be a difficult process easy and understandable. Every detail was handled correctly. No other firm could possibly do better than Klenk Law!

Stars

Peter and his staff are very responsive and always willing to help my clients and in a cost efficient manner.

Stars

Like another reviewer, I contacted Peter through his website using the free consultation link, for a question regarding PA inheritance taxes. The question was quite technical and difficult to explain, and the answer was nowhere to be found on the web. Peter grasped precisely what I was asking, and provided a clear, helpful response (with a touch of humor) the very next day.

Stars

Answered my question quickly and referred me to a colleague that could handle my problem

Stars

Mr. Klenk, quickly understood the circumstances presented and provided clear and concise advice. This advice provided me with the information I required to progress the case to my advantage.

Stars

Peter is excellent. I had a very complicated situation with my parents' estate planning and potential Medicaid needs. Peter was very knowledgeable in estate planning matters, able to define the best solution for the situation. Additionally, he was congenial and able to communicate effectively to my senior citizen parents the benefits of estate planning. He earned my trust, and more importantly, my parents' trust in a 45 mins consultation period. Highly recommend Peter. He is very easy to work with.

Stars

Peter recently gave a presentation about Wills & Trusts at my employer, and it was fantastic! He was extremely knowledgeable and provided valuable information to the group. People were very engaged and asked several questions, all of which Peter thoroughly answered. Personally, my husband and I have selected Peter to help us with our estate planning, and he has been very helpful in providing us with all of the information we need to provide a secure future for our family. Thank you, Peter!

Stars

Peter provided outstanding advice and preparation of a will and trusts.

Stars

Peter explained things in a way that was easy to understand. Everything was done in the time frame he said it. Could not have been better!

Stars

You & your staff are the best thank you for everything.

Stars

Peter and his staff handled all of our needs in a very professional and timely matter.

Stars

Peter Klenk made a complex subject understandable and allowed us to move forward with our estate planning. He was patient with our questions and creative in the solutions he proposed.

Stars

Peter explained a complex subject very clearly, helped us to decide the best approach to managing our estate and then made it very easy for us to execute the required documents. He will be a valuable resource for years to come and clearly has a great understanding of estate law that will lead to innovative solutions for us. I would unhesitatingly recommend him for estate planning.

Stars

Fantastic customer service. Very personable and most importantly they provide great explanations of what is required based on your individual needs. Highly recommend Klenk Law for anyone that needs to create a will and estate documents.

Stars

Always professional and very responsive. Everyone on the staff that I have worked with. I look forward to continuing our relationship.

Stars

Surprisingly easy

Stars

Affable...yet surprisingly cerebral estate planning atty. High marks all the way around.

Stars

Peter and his associates made things easy for us.

Let us put our expertise to work for you.

Free consultation within 24 hours.