If you've been appointed the executor of a loved one's estate--especially if you didn't know the job was coming--your first impulse may be to quickly turn matters over to a lawyer, who after all has experience in these matters. And it's true that most executors can benefit from some direction from an expert who's got lots of experience with probate in the local courts. But keep in mind that:
So before you make an appointment with a lawyer, do some homework. Here, you can read about the different ways of finding, working with, and paying an attorney.