Jo Anne Hinds is a Michigan trust attorney celebrating 20 years in practice in 2014. In addition to practicing law, she enjoys public speaking. The following is a slide presentation from a class taught for Holt Public Schools Community Education.
Becoming a new client.
To get started, you'll need to schedule an initial consultation. This can be done via the contact page on this website, by sending an email to me, or by calling (517) 285-5353. When calling, you may reach my voice mail, and if you do, I encourage you to leave a message which includes your name, telephone number, and the best time to return your call. Telephone consultations are available to new clients free of charge.
Understanding attorney fees.
Attorneys bill for their services in many different ways. Price shopping for legal services, such as the preparation of a living trust, is a tricky process. It's difficult for an attorney to estimate fees without a thorough initial consultation with the proposed client. In addition, some attorneys bill hourly and include out-of-pocket expenses such as travel costs, postage and more, while others bill on a flat fee basis, setting the cost for the entire project in advance.
In this practice, clients can expect to discuss fees with me at the initial consultation. Depending on the nature of the project, the fees may be fixed or hourly, or a combination of the two. New clients should expect to sign an engagement letter that describes the project and sets forth the method for determing fees.
Before hiring an attorney, you may wish to review the 16 page document, A Practical Guide to Hiring a Lawyer, published online by the State Bar of Michigan.
Be wary of "Trust Kits."
In October 2001, the State Bar of Michigan issued a warning to consumers about the dangers of using "Trust Kits," sometimes sold by out-of-state companies. For more information, read "Trust Kits" and the Unauthorized Practice of Law."