Divorce, Family Law

What Is a Retainer and How Is It Used?

Lawyers provide legal services to help clients resolve their professional and personal problems. Whether you are a businessman or a regular employee in a company, you may find yourself in a situation that requires legal help. For instance, , you may need to hire the services of an attorney if you want to file for divorceor if you plant to sell or buy a house. Regardless of your concern, lawyer services have a price. Lawyer fees can be billed hourly or sometimes you need to pay fixed fees. In most instances, a retainer agreement is necessary to cover accrued costs along the way. Here’s how it works.

Source Why Do You Need to Give an Advance Payment?

Retainer fees vary depending on the nature of your case. This type of payment is usually demanded from a client to make sure that the attorney will be reasonably compensated for his or her services. Essentially, a retainer is an advance payment. Before you wholly entrust your case to a lawyer, make sure you ask for a written retainer for your security.

When Do You Need It?

Your lawyer would usually offer you a retainer agreement after a successful consultation. Ideally, an honest lawyer will be frank about the professional fees. If you feel confident about the skills and ability of the lawyer after the consultation, then you can seal the deal by signing a written retainer. Sometimes, the retainer agreement is not required. However, it is highly recommended that you ask for a written agreement so you can read it properly before you proceed with your case.

What Do You Need to Know First Before Signing a Retainer Agreement?

As a client, it is your right to ask your lawyer for clarification in case you cannot understand the terms in the agreement. The retainer document must contain all the legal work that must be carried out in your case. It should clearly reflect the fees you need to pay as well as the manner and schedule of your payment. Usually, the following services must be shouldered by the client:

  • transcript fees

  • postage

  • court filing

  • photocopying fees

Your lawyer should also help you understand your financial responsibilities while your case is being resolved. You may also ask your attorney for an estimated amount so that you can prepare in advance.

Clarify the Rules

Money is a delicate issue especially if it involves you and your attorney. That is why you should establish the ground rules as soon as possible. The retainer agreement generally contains all the necessary details. Ask your lawyer upfront if you need to give a down payment. Some lawyers may choose a monthly or annual payment for long-term legal services.

A clear understanding about the significance of a retainer agreement can help you make an informed decision. Remember, you have the right to ask your attorney for clear-cut answers especially when it comes to professional fees. For expert legal advicecontact a highly experienced and reputable attorney in your area.