Wills & Estates FAQs from our clients
Many of our clients have never had cause to engage a lawyer prior to contacting our firm. In an effort to reduce any anxiety you may have about seeking legal advice from us, and also dispel a few common myths, we have put together the top five most common questions we get asked, and our responses
What percentage do you charge?
Turner Freeman Lawyers do not charge a percentage. How you will be charged for legal services provided will depend on the type of legal problem you have. We will always discuss fees with you at our first meeting and provide you with our proposed fee agreement up front, so you are fully informed from the very beginning. You also have the right to seek independent legal advice before entering into any fee agreements with a lawyer.
How long will it take?
Of course the time frames around different types of legal work vary widely. Preparation of a will can take between a couple of hours, to a couple of weeks, depending on the circumstances of the particular situation. Injury claims on average can take anywhere from twelve months to a number of years. Other types of litigation can be resolved in shorter time frames.
Your lawyer will be able to give you a general estimate of time frames from the outset. However, it is important to remember that new information gained along the way can alter these estimated time frames. If you are unsure why something seems to be taking longer than you expected, talk to your lawyer about it and remember that Courts, government organisations and other third parties that are commonly involved in legal work are often operating at high volume and may take a minimum of four weeks to provide information or documents to your lawyer.
Is what I say to my lawyer confidential?
One of the hallmark ethical duties of a lawyer is the duty of confidentiality owed to their clients. This duty often continues even after your matter is finalised. A particular reason for this duty is to ensure that people are able to be completely frank and honest in their dealings with their lawyer, knowing this information will be kept confidential. There are some circumstances where a lawyer is legally required to disclose particular information, but this will only be done where absolutely necessary.
It is important to remember, however, in some types of claims it is legally required and to your benefit to fully disclose all relevant matters to the other side (i.e. injury claims) and failure to do so in those claims may actually invalidate any resolution of the matter if something has been knowingly kept from the other side.
Does my lawyer need this document?
If you are wondering if your lawyer might need a copy of something, the best approach is to provide EVERYTHING and allow your lawyer to sort through with you what is relevant and what is not. Very often people have documents that are very important to their claim that are not provided until the last minute, or not at all, due to a client not realising its importance. If in doubt, give it to your lawyer!
Why does my lawyer need to know that?
There might be times when your lawyer is asking you questions or seeking copies of documents which you feel uneasy sharing for one reason or another. In this day and age people are often right to be skeptical about providing their personal information to someone else. If this is happening to you, please remember that your lawyer is a professional who is under strong ethical and professional obligations to act in your best interests.
Withholding information from your employed legal adviser significantly reduces the quality of the service they can provide you. A lawyer will be asking you questions and seeking information about your circumstances for a reason. Any lawyer/client relationship will require an element of trust to be most effective.
Turner Freeman Wills & Estates lawyers
We hope the above has been helpful, and if you have any questions or queries that are not covered above, please do not hesitate to contact us for more information.
To request information about our available legal services, or to discuss your personal circumstances with one of our experienced lawyers, please contact the Turner Freeman Lawyers Team on (07) 3025 9000.