Choosing the right estate planning attorney is essential.
You know you need an estate plan.
It is the critical for your the success of your comprehensive financial plan and the well-being of your family.
According to a recent Next Avenue article titled “How to Find a Good Estate Planner,” you need to do more than simply create an estate plan.
You need to secure the services of an experienced estate planning attorney.
Estate planning is one of those areas where mistakes can have irreversible consequences.
If you serve as your own attorney, then you may overlook state and federal laws.
These issues will not be found until you are dead or incapacitated.
At that point, they are simply too late to fix.
How do you find an experienced estate planning lawyer?
Look for an attorney who practices estate law. Period.
Your trial, divorce, or traffic law attorneys may fall short.
They may not have a command of the latest changes to estate and tax law and how they might impact your circumstances.
Ask whether the attorney has worked with clients similar to you.
Some are single.
And not all families are the same.
Some are blended.
Some have special needs children.
Some have a lot of money.
Some own family businesses.
The attorney your select must have experience with those in your situation.
Experienced estate planning attorneys will cost you more upfront than an inexperienced estate planning attorney or an online will.
Even a simple plan involves more work than you expect with a will, powers of attorney, and advance health care directives.
Should your goals require a trust, expect the price to increase.
If you want to bypass probate and keep your estate private, it will be worth the extra expense.
An experienced attorney should be able to tell you the price of the best plan when prescribing the least amount of “legal medicine” for your unique circumstances.
Your estate planning attorney will have an ongoing relationship with you and your family.
Every couple of years or after major life changes, you should review your estate plan with your attorney.
This “full physical exam” will help ensure that your plan is still in good health.
You should feel comfortable, heard, and understood.
You must trust this individual.
Online ratings and reviews can help provide independent confirmation from peer attorneys and satisfied clients that you have found the right attorney.
In fact, before you engage any attorney for estate planning or any other legal serve, be sure to thoroughly vett them on two established online attorney directories: www.lawyers.com and www.avvo.com.
Make finding an experienced estate planning attorney a priority.
You will enjoy estate planning peace of mind now, and your loved ones will thank you later.
Reference: Next Avenue (September 10, 2019) “How to Find a Good Estate Planner”