Ack! Talk to a lawyer!?

Every once in a while I write about documents we all really should have in place to make things easier for ourselves and our loved ones. Those notes usually include “You might need to see a lawyer about this.” I suspect that tends to help procrastination, right?

So I’m hoping these suggestions will help move things along. They apply whether you are looking for help with a contract, being sued, have a personal injury, are trying to right a wrong, drafting your will or setting up a trust, or helping settle someone’s matters after death. In today’s society, there are many reasons for consulting a lawyer.


1. Gather all documents and information you might need, make copies to give to the lawyer.

Include names of other people who might be involved, with how to contact them.

  1. Think of the questions you will need to ask and write them down.
  2. Be ready to take notes as you get answers, or ask someone to go with you to do that.
  3. Ask about fees for the tasks you need done and get a printed copy of the response.
  4. Ask the questions about your issue.
  5. Read and understand everything you are going to sign; ask questions again if needed.
  6. Get copies of everything you sign for your files, and keep them safe.
  7. Understand what happens next and when, meaning actions by you or by your lawyer.
  8. And my favorite – ask him or her: “What other questions should I ask?”

Remember you can talk to your lawyer and the conversation is confidential. Also remember that if you don’t get questions answered clearly and to your satisfaction, you may need to find another lawyer.

Plainly speaking,

Jean O’Neil, TRIAD committee member