This Bradford & Holliman article first appeared in the Sentinel Senior edition October 2020.
A good lawyer is actually serious when asking “How’s the family?” Life changes occur such as new health issues, new family members, and unfortunately, divorces, and deaths. All of these changes can impact your legal affairs in major ways.
No excuses. Conversations can take place in person, by video, or by phone to build that important personal nature of your lawyer-client relationship. Personally, we were meeting with clients through video technology long before the COVID-19 pandemic occurred because our clients and family members who live far away could participate more quickly and avoid travel. Other lawyers work the same way, but you need to speak up.
Why? A good lawyer listens closely to what a client says and asks clarifying questions in order to offer objective analysis and advice in combination with legal strategy. Often the lawyer will detect problems that their client does not realize exists. And the lawyer may pick up on possible solutions to problems during what clients often apologetically call rambling. Of course, every conversation with your lawyer does not have has to be a lengthy talk-fest,
In today’s world, we like to click on an app and have a problem solved instantly. Don’t make that mistake with legal matters. Cases can be solved, won, or lost on the tiniest of facts or technicalities so your lawyer needs in depth knowledge to serve you well. Much of your lawyer’s work is advance planning to avoid pitfalls that cause family misunderstandings and arguments and to avoid unnecessary expenses such as lawsuits and probate costs.
People like things to happen instantly – one click and done. However, that just won’t cut it with legal affairs. A few lines of cryptic text is not enough to diagnose a legal problem or provide full answers or solutions. And by the way, one size does not fit all when it comes to wills, trusts, healthcare or financial powers of attorney so be wary of any single click solution.
Help your lawyer give you great service. Take the initiative to have meaningful conversations on a regular basis with your lawyer about what’s going on in your life. You will be glad you did.