Are you planning to draft your will or a living trust? Maybe you want to provide financial security for your loved ones or avoid inheritance disputes after your death. If so, then hiring a reputable estate planning attorney is indispensable.
An experienced attorney will help you create a valid will or trust complying with state law and regulations. In addition, they’ll be keen to identify and correct errors that might invalidate your estate plan.
Not all lawyers that you come across are the best option for you. We’ll outline below some tips to follow when hiring an estate planning attorney. This will help you avoid confusion that might increase the odds of making mistakes.
Ask For Recommendations
Obtaining referrals is one of the quickest ways of choosing a reputable estate planning attorney. Referrals relieve you of the burden of navigating through the myriad of options available to find your best option. Besides that, they minimize the odds of making choices that’ll cost you in the future.
If you have any friends with estate planning attorneys, consult them before you begin your searching process. Ask them;
• About the law firm, they worked with when planning their estate
• If they enjoyed working with it
• If they’d recommend the same lawyer to a close friend
If they give positive answers to these questions, ask for the attorney’s contact details.
In case you don’t have friends or relatives who’ve ever done estate planning, consult other professionals in the field. You can reach out to any legal secretary, law firm administrator, or court personnel that you know.
After that, you may have a long referral list that can be difficult to manage, so you’ll need to cut it down by narrowing your options to 2 to 3 potential candidates. Phone these candidates to learn more about their services.
Check on Experience
Do you know there has never been a substitute for experience? So, even if you find a nice candidate, don’t be tempted to overlook their experience level. It is an important quality as it determines if you’ll accomplish your estate planning goals or not.
Experienced lawyers know the turns and twists that can pop up during the estate planning process and how to help your family when you’ve passed away. So, they’ll be keen to identify them as early as possible and plot out the best course of action to avoid them. Also, they’re well-versed in managing the assets and liabilities of the deceased to prevent family disputes.
Even if you have a very simple estate, hiring an attorney with little experience could cost you and your family a lot more than you saved in legal fees when that mess has to be cleaned up.
To determine if your candidate has adequate experience, ask them about the length of time they’ve been practicing law. The longer they’ve handled estate planning matters, the more the estate planning experience. Thus, it’s wise to avoid working with lawyers who have recently joined the industry.
A strong reputation is a critical factor you can’t afford to overlook when choosing an estate planning attorney. It signifies the lawyer’s experience and quality of services you expect from them. Thus, before choosing your attorney, research more to ascertain a good reputation.
To review the lawyer’s experience, read customer testimonials from their website. A reputable lawyer will have positive reviews that outweigh the negative ones. If otherwise, be careful because that lawyer might be inexperienced and untrustworthy.
Don’t be deceived if you realize that the lawyer has only positive reviews; that might not be an honest picture. A normal lawyer will have both negative and positive comments from clients. Not every lawyer/client relationship is the perfect fit and a negative review doesn’t mean that the lawyer is not a great fit for you.
In addition, you can search your prospective lawyer on Better Business Bureau site to see if they’ve any complaints filed against them. Proceed with caution if you find out that your lawyer has numerous complaints from their past clients.
This Is a Guide to Hire Estate Planning Attorneys
Planning your estate is an ideal way to ensure your assets and liabilities are properly handled once you’re gone. If not done well, accomplishing your estate planning goals might remain a dream. To avoid this, seek the professional assistance of a reputable lawyer.
Read the above tips to hire estate planning attorneys to find a lawyer to plan your estate properly.
Are you struggling to find a reputable estate planning attorney? At Smith Barid, we got you covered. We help people to plan for inevitable surprises of life through estate planning.
Contact us today for a free consultation.