What To Know About An Attorney Retainer?

Have you been meeting with an attorney to handle your upcoming lawsuit, and the attorney has said that they require a retainer? If so, you're likely wondering what that means. Here are 4 things that you should know about attorney retainers.

What's A Retainer?

You should think about a retainer as if you are making a deposit on the attorney's services. It is money that is given upfront for future services from your attorney. It helps guarantee that the attorney will set aside other cases to work on yours when the need comes up and also guarantee that you have the cash on hand to pay for the attorney. 

How Do You Pay For A Retainer? 

Every attorney will set up the retainer based on your specific needs. If you have a need for an attorney for ongoing legal problems, it is possible that they will have you pay a monthly retainer fee. This means that the attorney will essentially be on standby and will be able to work whenever you need them to. This is ideal for businesses that have ongoing legal needs, but you never know when the need is going to come up. If the attorney is working on a single case for you, they may estimate the legal costs and have you pay them all upfront. 

Can The Retainer Fee Be Returned?

The contract that you sign with your attorney will state what will happen with any remainder from the retainer when the lawsuit is finished. It is common for unused fees to be given back to the client when the lawsuit is finished since the retainer is used to guarantee payment for future services. If the retainer is to guarantee service on a monthly basis, that money may be lost during months where the attorney's services were not used. 

What Happens If Your Legal Costs Are More Than The Retainer?

An attorney can decide to handle excess legal fees that go beyond the retainer in one of two ways. They may require you to give an additional retainer when the remaining funds dip below a certain percentage. The attorney may also decide to bill you for the remainder when the case finishes, especially if the overages are not that much more than what was provided in the retainer.

Speak to a lawyer service in your area if you have more questions about how a retainer works to guarantee their legal assistance. 

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Know the Law

When most people think of hiring an attorney, they picture gloom-and-doom situations like crime and divorce. But in fact, there are so-called happy times when you would need to hire a lawyer. Perhaps it is time to draft your will and make sure all of your possessions get handed down to the right people after you pass away. Or maybe it is time to establish a trust and protect some of your estate. General attorneys offer a wide range of services, including those for good times and those for bad times. You can learn more about these professionals and their profession right here.

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