When someone dies, the whole family is affected. Steve Ashby works with those families to make sure that the problems presented by a death in the family are dealt with as promptly and efficiently as possible. In Georgia, we are blessed with a streamlined Probate Code, making the process of probating a will less burdensome than in many states. If a person dies without a will, Steve Ashby helps the family navigate the administration process in an orderly and efficient fashion.
In any estate case, Steve focuses on making sure those left behind know how the probate/administration process works, how long it will take and how much it will cost. He will then assist the family in transferring the estate assets to those who are legally entitled as quickly and efficiently as possible. Some families are very involved and are happy to do much of the legwork themselves, saving money. On other occasions, families are ill equipped to handle some of the more daunting tasks of hunting assets, taking care of creditors or simply cleaning out a house. Steve can help you as much or as little as you need. If necessary, he can utilize any additional people necessary to accomplish those tasks that are beyond the capability of families. In the end, his goal is to administer the estate as efficiently as possible, getting more assets to those who were intended to get them.
What will all of this cost? All of the legal costs necessary to settle an estate will ultimately be paid out of the estate itself. While it is sometimes necessary for an Executor or Administrator to pay a small retainer at the beginning of an estate case, that amount is always payable back from the estate. Typically, estate cases tend to be less costly because the issues to be resolved are generally not complex. To begin with, your first telephone consultation is free. In that phone conference, Steve will help you to evaluate where the estate stands and what will take to finalize everything. Then, he can give you some idea of how long the process will take and how much it will cost. After the initial free telephone conference, Steve has a rate of $350 per hour. That is a lot of money, so Steve focuses on identifying your goals and working to achieve the end result as quickly and efficiently as possible. In your initial consultation, Steve will give you an estimate of the overall cost and will give you a quote for a down payment towards these expected costs. This is the retainer. The retainer is paid into a separate escrow account, which is not touched until and unless legal fees or expenses are generated. Each month, you will be provided with a detailed record of the time expended on your case down to one tenth of an hour (six minutes). In order to keep your legal fees down, Steve Ashby will utilize his paralegal ($75 per hour) to perform routine tasks not requiring the intervention of an attorney, when possible. Once the process is over, any monies left in your escrow account are refunded to you, so there are no “non-refundable” deposits.