For many people, choosing a wills attorney or a trust attorney to plan their state is the first contact that they have had with an attorney. It can be a daunting task for them to decide what qualities they should look for in an estate planning attorney.
Others simply accept on faith that any attorney is competent to play in their state. Such confidence is frequently misplaced because many attorneys have little training or actual experience in this complex area of law.
Still others due to this temptation to shop for price rather than quality and legal services. When it comes to obtaining quality estate planning services, as with most other areas in life, you get what you pay for it and your selection should be made with care and based on more than cost.
How should I go about selecting a qualified estate planning attorney?
Selecting a qualified attorney should not be a matter of luck or happenstance. We offer the following tips provide you with the information needed to meaningfully interview and select an estate planning attorney who has the experience and training to do an excellent job for you.
- Interview only attorneys who practices are dedicated to planning Estates. Other attorneys simply don’t have the knowledge or experience to plan your estate properly. Planning an estate is the equivalent of legal heart surgery. You would not go to your family doctor for heart surgery. Do not go to General practitioner or estate planning.
- Ask if the attorney will help you avoid the additional costs, delays, loss of privacy, and other problems of probate. Many so called quote estate planning attorneys quote actually earn their living by probating Estates at the surviving families expense. Also, since the probate court process will make a public record of all of your private affairs, an attorney who designs in a state plan for you that requires your state to be probated is essentially depriving your family of the privacy and needs and deserves.
- Hire only an attorney that you like and trust. After qualifications and experience, nothing is more important in planning your estate than having a relationship with your attorney that is built on friendship and mutual trust.
- Determine the Law Offices procedure for handling client requests for information and performing the work before you hire it. You have the right to demand excellent legal service from your attorney. Anything left is not acceptable.
- Find out if the attorney will return your phone calls quickly. An attorney’s office that is slow in responding to your calls will probably be slow and everything. Find someone else.
- Ask if the attorney will quote you on a fixed fee for designing and implementing your state plan. This will save you the surprise of an probable anger at receiving an unexpectedly large legal bill.
- Inquire whether the attorney offers an annual review of your state plan. Those that do are the most dedicated to seeing that your estate plan will be kept up to date.
- Determine whether the attorney can prepare your estate planning documents within a months time period this is a realistic time frame for an attorney who knows the law and provides sufficient services.
- Interview only attorneys who understand and believe in the benefits of trust centered planning as demonstrated by the use of trust for their own personal planning period do not deal with attorneys who failed to personally believe in the services they provide to others.
- Choose only an estate planning attorney who offers comprehensive estate planning services. The goal of a completely state plan is to provide you with the Peace of Mind that comes from knowing your legacy will be transferred exactly according to your stated desires. Your plan will not succeed as expected unless you’re living trust is supplemented with several additional legal documents. These include financial powers of attorney, healthcare directives, guardianship nominations, and property agreements, to name just a few. An attorney that provides quality services will also provide detailed instructions on how to fund and maintain your trust. As the attorney for a detailed list of the services offered and the documents typically provided.
- Be sure you can read and understand your estate planning documents. The days of a secret legal language are long past period there is simply no way to be assured that your state planning documents fulfill your desires unless you can understand them. Consider asking to see a sample of the documents typically provided.
- See if your state planning documents will be neatly assembled in an estate planning portfolio. Such a portfolio will keep the documents readily available so you and your family can easily find them whenever desired and ensure that they are not difficult to find in emergencies.
- It is critical that the attorney remain current with changes to a state planning laws that affect your state. Congress, state legislatures, tax boards, and the IRS issue new laws, regulations, and decisions on a continuous basis that affect your planning. I see attorney for the process used to remain on the cutting edge of the law. Dedicated estate planning attorneys will be members of professional organizations which meet regularly to share information, review and study estate planning issues.
We believe that only an attorney who possesses these characteristics and offers these services will provide you with the quality estate planning services you and your loved ones need and deserve. A state planning involves reviewing and analyzing your desires and finances today to ensure that you and your family are prepared for tomorrow. It requires that you have a team of qualified professionals that will work together to make sure that you receive an integrated estate plan of the highest quality. The captain of the team should be a qualified estate planning attorney who has the training and experience to turn your estate planning desires into reality. You deserve the best estate planning services possible anwei, the authors of this book, are provided to providing you with nothing less.