The estate planning process includes some of the most important decisions you’ll ever make. Such as;
What will happen to your money when you die;
Who will look after your kids if you die while they’re still minors; and
What kind of legacy you’ll leave behind.
These decisions are too important to leave to chance! That’s where an estate planning law firm can help. They’ll guide you through wise and well thought out decision-making.
As you search for the right estate planning attorney, there are key qualities that you should consider.
Estate Planning is a complex task. The attorney you choose should demonstrate the following:
- They know the proper way to handle these plans.
- They are up to date on regional estate laws, probate laws, Medicaid laws, and tax laws.
- They focus their practice on probate, trust, living wills, probate avoidance, medical asset protection, estate tax planning, and healthcare proxy.
- To be sure that your attorney is up to the task, be sure that they focus their practice exclusively on every aspect of estate planning.
2. Fee Structure
Flat-fee pricing will keep costs predictable and prevent financial surprises further down the road. Also make sure you understand what is covered in your flat fee, and that it meets all of your needs.
3. Various Planning Options
Your needs may be simple or very complex. Your attorney should be able to handle it all. From will creation, trust establishment, estate tax minimization, avoiding probate and more.
You’re going to be sharing some very personal information with whoever you hire to draft your estate plan. Make sure your attorney is someone you feel comfortable with. Signs of a compassionate estate planning attorney include;
- clarity in explaining the process,
- shows empathy, and
- speaks to you in layperson’s terms so you can understand the documents, decisions and process.
5. Cares about your estate plan today…and tomorrow
It’s not a set it and forget it transaction! Life circumstances change, and estate plans need to be updated. Your attorney should offer a maintenance plan or otherwise stay in touch to update you when your plan needs review.
6. Professional Memberships and Groups
Continued education and staying current is essential. See what professional organizations your attorney is a member of, such as; Personal Family Lawyer, WealthCounsel, and ElderCounsel. From these organizations’ websites, you can search for the best estate planning attorneys in your area.