Working with an estate planning lawyer can help you make big decisions with total confidence; whatever your wishes for the legacy you leave behind, a good estate planning lawyer will help you achieve them.
As you work with an estate planning lawyer, you’ll lean on his or her expertise—yet you’ll also need to be candid about your own desires, and to speak frankly about your own mortality. As such, it is critical to find an attorney who you trust, with whom you feel comfortable and with a firm who exclusively practices Estate planning.
How to Find the Right Estate Planning Lawyer
When you first meet with an estate planning lawyer, we recommend asking these questions, which can help you determine whether he or she is the right legal partner for you.
- What is your experience with trusts and estates? It’s fine, even recommended, that you seek someone who specializes in this field.
- How long will it take to complete my estate plan? There’s really no rush, but it’s good to set expectations up front.
- Can you help me work with trusts? Not all estate planning lawyers can help you set up and fund a trust. You need someone who can since this is the most important part of establishing an Estate Plan.
- What about ongoing review and revision to my estate plan? Select a lawyer who will help keep your estate plan up to date.
- How can you help me avoid probate? This is one of the key focuses of estate planning. More likely than not, your lawyer will recommend a will and a trust.
- Will you quote me a standard fee? Again, have clear expectations set; know roughly how much the estate planning process will cost you, whether the attorney charges by the hour or on a flat fee basis.
Above all, seek an estate planning lawyer who is knowledgeable; who answers your questions honestly, clearly and in a timely fashion; and who makes you feel more comfortable with the estate planning process!