Let’s face it: Estate planning, probate and real estate transactions are not subjects the average person is well-versed on – until they have to be. Butler & College Law Firm would like to change the misconception that people don’t really need to plan for the unthinkable.
“There is a lack of information available to the general public regarding the necessity of valuable estate planning and the issues that commonly arise in probate. I help clients clean up expensive and time-consuming messes every day that could have easily been avoided if proper planning were done ahead of time,” said attorney Sarah Miller Smith of Butler & College.
Smith believes that education is key when it comes to offering honest legal services.
“In order to prevent confusion, it is important that our clients are educated on the details of our legal representation,” she said. “It also allows us to build a certain level of trust with the client when they have more knowledge about what is going on.”
She said the firm provides extensive consultations so attorneys have the time to ask all the right questions to determine the specific legal needs the client requires. The consultations also create a certain level of expectations to be met, as well as prevent miscommunication throughout the process.
“It also helps us provide the best legal representation that we can for each unique individual,” she said.
Smith said she sees it time and time again – families who are left to clean up a mess because their loved ones did not make the proper plans for their estate before they passed away.
“These are topics that are difficult or uncomfortable for most people to discuss but are so important and affect every single person,” she said. “Whether our clients need help to create a basic will, powers of attorney, trusts or an LLC, we are able to provide assistance from start to finish. We always offer a free initial consultation so that we can get to know the client and help educate them upfront as to what their specific legal needs are. Most people have no clue which basic estate-planning documents they need, so important details are often overlooked. When these important details are not properly addressed, problems will arise. Unfortunately, we see this all the time in our probate practice, where we assist clients in the administration of estates.”
In addition to estate planning and probate, Butler & College Law Firm also helps clients with real estate transactions, which are often stressful and confusing for the average person.
“We will help the client through the process of buying or selling a home alongside their agent,” Smith said. “If any problems surface, we are there to jump in and help determine a solution.”
Smith pointed out that more often than not, the areas of their practice tend to overlap.
“Our experience and resources in one area of practice complement and facilitate our practice in another area, which provides additional value to our clients,” she said.
Estate planning and especially probate are family focused.
“A client’s decisions and affairs need to be organized in a way that takes into consideration all parties that may be involved, either now or in the future,” Smith said.
That’s why Butler & College Law Firm finds it important to educate not only the client but close family members as well.
For more information on the free educational presentations on estate planning, probate and real estate offered by Butler & College, contact Sarah Miller Smith at 843-225-3167, or visit www.bandclawfirm.com.
By Theresa Stratford