Frequently Asked Questions

 

Will you communicate with me?

Will you answer my questions and explain things to me?

How long have you been in practice?

What communities do you serve?

What kinds of cases and how many cases like mine have you handled?

How much do you charge, and what are your billing practices?

What do you charge for initial consultations?

Do you accept credit cards?

How do I pay my invoice using PayPal?

How long does it take to get an appointment with you?

How should I prepare for my initial visit with you, and what will happen during this visit?

Why do I need an attorney for a will, a divorce, etc.? Can I do it myself online, and if not, why not?

What kinds of things should I consult an attorney for before it happens (marriage, buying a house, etc.)?

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Q.  Will You Communicate With Me?

A.  A frequent complaint people have about their attorney is that they can never get hold of them and they don't promptly return phone calls and emails. At the Ligon Law Office, we make every effort to be directly available to you by phone, and we make it a practice to return voice mails and e-mails as promptly as possible (usually the same day).
 

Q.  Will You Answer My Questions And Explain Things To Me?

A.  We always strive to keep our clients well-informed.  Both at the outset and as your case progresses,  we take the time to answer your questions and fully explain your legal situation, together with the risks, benefits, advantages and disadvantages of your case.  By keeping our clients well-informed, our clients can make the choices that are best for them.
 

Q.  How Long Have You Been In Practice?

A.  When results matter, experience counts!  Ms. Ligon has well over two decades of experience practicing law in the State of Michigan. 
 

Q.  What Communities Do You Serve?

A.  Our firm represents clients located in southeast Michigan, including Livingston County, Washtenaw County, Oakland County, Ingham County and Genesee County. Our clients come from communities such as Howell, Brighton, Pinckney, Gregory, Stockbridge, Ann Arbor, Dexter, Chelsea, South Lyon, Whitmore Lake, Hamburg, Hartland, Milford, Fenton, Fowlerville, Webberville and the greater Lansing area.
 

Q.  What Kinds Of Cases And How Many Cases Like Mine Have You Handled?

A.  We have handled many hundreds of cases involving Estate Planning, Probate and Probate Avoidance, Wills, Trusts, Living Wills, Financial Powers, Power of Attorney, Elder Law, Family Law, Divorce, Custody, Spousal and Child Support, Corporate and LLC Formations, Business Transactions, Real Estate, Zoning, Land Use, Environmental Law and Equine Law.  When you call for more information, we will be happy to describe our experience and how we can serve your needs in your particular case.
 

Q.  How Much Do You Charge, And What Are Your Billing Practices?

A.  This is the big question everyone wants to know, and there is no one answer as every case is unique.  For instance, some cases, personal injury cases for example, may be taken on a contingency basis - in which case, you would pay court filing fees and other out-of-pocket costs, but no attorney fees at all unless and until there is a recovery.  (Once there is a recovery, the attorney fee for a contingency case is one-third of the recovery.)  Estate planning services are typically performed on a flat-fee basis.  Most other legal services are billed on an hourly basis.  For clients who need a sizeable amount of work handled, we offer reasonable retainer agreements. 

Our years of experience make us highly efficient in the work that we perform.  Our hourly billing rates are in line with prevailing rates in Livingston County. Tasks that can be done by a legal assistant under Ms. Ligon's supervision are billed at a substantially lower rate.  All time is billed in tenths of an hour (6 minute increments) for the time actually spent.  We do not bill for brief phone calls from clients unless such calls become burdensome due to their frequency or length.  You can expect to receive a bill approximately every month or six weeks, and payment is expected for each bill unless you have an agreement that provides differently.  We will discuss specific billing arrangements at our initial meeting, based on the specifics of your particular case and the likely amount of work involved.

In the end, it is the quality of the representation, not the hourly rate, that will determine how satisfied you are.  To learn what our clients have to say about us, click here.
 

Q.  What Do You Charge For Initial Consultations?

A.  The charge for an initial consultation, which typically lasts from 30 minutes to an hour or more, is a flat $50.00.
 

Q.  Do You Accept Credit Cards?

A.  Yes. We accept Visa, Mastercard, American Express, and Discover through PayPal.
 

Q.  How Do I Pay My Invoice Using PayPal?

A.  If you have an email address, you can simply follow the link provided in your electronic invoice. If you do not have an email address, you can go to our website's "Client Information Center" page and complete the PayPal box.  You will be automatically directed to PayPal's payment page. PayPal allows you to pay your bill via direct debit or by credit card.  All transactions are handled through PayPal's secure server, and no registration is necessary.
 

Q.  How Long Does It Take To Get An Appointment With You?

A.  We are good about accommodating the time constraints of our clients, which means you can usually get an appointment within a day or two of your initial call, and even the same day in urgent matters.  We are also willing to take appointments late in the day to accommodate our clients' work schedules.
 

Q.  How Should I Prepare For My Initial Visit With You, And What Will Happen During This Visit?

A.  When you call to schedule your initial appointment with us, our office will instruct you which documents and information to bring to your initial appointment.  Please be sure to bring them as they are important to the attorney's review of your case.  During the initial visit, you will meet privately with Ms. Ligon and discuss your situation in detail.  We may be able to advise you sufficiently at this meeting to make additional legal services unnecessary, or, depending on the situation, we may make recommendations for further action.  It is your decision how to proceed and whether you want our office to represent you further in your legal matter.

You may also find it helpful to fill out our intake sheet in advance, and bring it to your initial appointment.  You can download the appropriate intake sheets from our website's "Client Information Center" page.
 

Q.  Why Do I Need An Attorney For A Will, A Divorce, Etc.? Can I Do It Myself Online, And If Not, Why Not?

A.  A real, live, breathing attorney will talk with you about the facts of your particular situation and your needs, constraints and goals, and will use his or her extensive knowledge of the law to craft documents or design a remedy that properly addresses your unique situation. On the other hand, "one size fits all" online legal services are usually worth just what you pay for them.  If you do it yourself, you may never realize the important things you missed - or, you may later become only too intimately acquainted with the meaning of "penny wise and pound foolish."  We will, of course, for a fee, be happy to assist in extricating you from any foray you regret making into self-help legal services.  But see below.
 

Q.  What Kinds Of Things Should I Consult An Attorney For Before It Happens (Marriage, Buying A House, Etc.)?

A.  Certainly it is advisable to have an estate plan in place when there are minor children, but for a number of reasons, including just the unpredictability of life, an estate plan early on is a good idea for most of us.  In today's society, it may also be a good idea to consult an attorney when contemplating marriage, particularly second marriages, and especially if either party has children.  We also believe strongly that our services provide the greatest value to those buying or selling property if we are consulted before you write or accept an offer.  The same is true of starting a business or purchasing an ongoing one.  The cost of legal assistance is far less to avoid a problem than to resolve one.  Nowhere is the old adage "an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure" more true than here.

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