Estate planning can be a complex process. Certainly, it involves much more than just filling out a last will and testament. Prudent estate planning may also encompass tax planning, life insurance, naming guardians for your children, filling out advanced medical directives, and more. To ensure that it’s all done properly, and that you are truly prepared for all contingencies, it’s wise to work with a skilled and experienced estate planning attorney.
Not all estate planning professionals are created equal, however, and it’s worth doing some due diligence to ensure you end up working with someone highly qualified. Here are some steps to consider as you seek the best estate planning lawyer to meet your needs.
Focus on Estate Planning
This may sound obvious, but one of the first things you should look for is a law firm that’s truly devoted to estate planning. What we mean by this is, don’t go with an attorney who only devotes a small section of their time to estate planning, and whose attention is being pulled in a million different directions. Choose someone who is a specialist in their field and devotes themselves fully to helping clients with their estate planning needs.
When interviewing a potential estate planning law firm, don’t hesitate to ask what percentage of their business is devoted to this field.
Look for Personalization
When it comes to estate planning, there’s no such thing as a one-size-fits-all approach. Indeed, different individuals have varied circumstances to contend with, and myriad objectives to work toward.
A good estate planning lawyer won’t try to force cookie-cutter solutions on you. Instead, they’ll ask you questions, get to know your needs and goals, and propose some strategies that are tailored to your situation. This level of personalization is always something to look for in an estate planning law firm.
Seek a Spectrum of Services
Estate planning typically isn’t simple. Again, it’s much more than just putting a will in place. As you seek a good attorney, make sure you ask about the full range of services offered. Just a few examples include:
- Tax planning
- Gift planning
- Trust administration
- Advanced healthcare directives
You may also wish to ask if the estate planning lawyer can serve as trustee, if needed. Again, these are just a few examples of what you might need. The important thing is to find a law firm where you can have all your estate planning requirements met under one roof.
A small point, but a crucial one: Estate planning laws and ordinances can vary widely from one state to the next. If you live in California, it’s best to look for a California estate planning firm. You may know a perfectly nice and respectable attorney in Florida or New York, but without intimate knowledge of local laws, you may wind up with an estate plan that’s deemed invalid in a court of law. Don’t hesitate to ask your attorney how well they stay on top of local regulations.
Your estate planning attorney is someone with whom you’ll need to reveal many private details of your life, potentially some intimate ones. As such, it’s critical to find someone with whom you feel comfortable; someone who puts you at ease and inspires trust.
Ask your attorney how they’ll communicate: How often will they reach out to you? And how can you reach them if questions or needs arise? Accessibility is something to prize in any estate planning lawyer.
Also, make sure you ask about cost/legal fees. The important thing here is that you’re given a straight answer. Transparency is always a good sign that you’re working with an attorney you can trust.
Talk to an Estate Planning Lawyer Today
As you seek a good estate planning law firm in California, we encourage you to contact Singh Law Firm. It’s our pleasure to help so many California families with these estate planning needs, and we’re always eager to sit down with new people, answer any questions, and better explain our services.
To set up a consultation with one of our will and trust attorneys, reach out to Singh Law Firm at your next convenience.