To describe how I help people as succinctly as possible, I am a “problem-solver.” I try to solve my clients’ legal problems, here in Michigan, in the most efficient way possible. Usually, but not always, this involves disputed probate court proceedings, which I, as a lawyer, help guide people through in the best way I can. These cases are not easy for anyone going through them, because of the strong emotions involved, and I am always sensitive to that.
Sometimes this means that I recommend an early settlement — but only if the other side is reasonable and it is the most cost effective way to resolve the case. I need to balance the emotional and financial cost of every decision for every case.
Other times — especially for those clients that simply can’t afford to lose — these contested probate cases require me to be a bulldog attorney. Every case is different, and my method of attack for each situation and each client varies, based on the circumstances and my clients’ goals.
Regardless of how aggressive I need to be in a particular case, I work closely with my clients, communicating frequently by phone, email and meetings, to keep them informed. In doing so, I work the case in the best way possible to achieve their goals (not my goals). Even with out-of-state clients, I strive to keep them informed of everything that happens, and return phone calls and emails promptly. I always give my advice and opinions, but I let my clients make their own decisions (but I will speak up when I disagree, rest assured).
These cases are too emotionally difficult (not to mention, financially difficult many times), to handle them any other way. I try to help remove emotions from the equation and counsel my clients to make the best business decision possible.
This is especially important in these tough economic times. Michigan, even more so than the rest of the country, had been hit hard recently. The auto industry has a very strong effect on the metro-Detroit / southeast Michigan economy (for example, in the real estate market). This reality impacts almost every case I have. Desperate times do tend to create more of these probate battles, unfortunately.
Luckily, I have the experience of helping hundreds of clients through these difficult cases, so I can quickly make a recommendation — based on the finances, not the emotions — which I feel strongly about. Even when there is no easy answer, I will always strive to help my clients with advice, understanding, and when necessary, the bulldog mentality it takes to win when settlement is not an option.
Written by:: Probate attorney Andrew W. Mayoras