Estate Planning Attorney | Often times people begin their searches for a service provider by trying to find out who is the “best”. Best is a really subjective term and can depend on different tastes and preferences. When looking for an estate planning attorney, it’s important to find a lawyer who is experienced and focused on will and trust law. You should also find one who is a right fit for you and your family. That’s because you are entrusting this person to advise you on how to protect your family and your life’s work, which means experience and trust should be of primary importance.
Find an attorney who focuses on estate planning
If you are serious about estate planning, you need to find a lawyer who focuses their practice on will and trust law. This type of lawyer is known as an estate planning attorney. This is important because will, trust, and estate law is incredibly complex and improperly drafted plans can cost you legally, financially, and can leave your family in court fighting for your assets after you pass away. Additionally, will and trust law changes from state to state and certain considerations for federal laws need to be taken into account. Protections offered in one state, may not apply in the state right next door.
You wouldn’t go to a knee surgeon if you were having heart problems, would you?
So why would you go to a lawyer who practices criminal law to get an estate plan done?
Instead, you should plan with an experienced estate planning professional who dedicates their practice to will and trust law.
Identify your goals to speak about with an estate planning attorney
When estate planning, you should focus on what kind of outcomes you want…
- Do you want to avoid probate court?
- Do you want to preserve the value of your assets by minimizing estate taxes?
- Do you want to be able to provide financially for your family if you become incapacitated?
- Do want to leave instructions for your family about your medical care and end of life wishes if you are unable to communicate them yourself?
In other words, be as clear as possible as to what your estate planning goals are when speaking with an estate planning attorney. This will help them put together the most comprehensive plan possible to help you achieve your goals.
Contact the bar association to find an estate planning attorney
If you need help finding an estate planning attorney, you can call your local bar association for a reference. They will be able to provide information on local estate planning attorneys who are licensed and in good standing with the state bar. This can be a good place to begin your research if you don’t know where to look.
Search the internet “Estate Planning Attorney” or “Estate Planning Attorney Near Me”
Google is a really useful resource when looking for local, reputable attorneys. That’s because not only does google provide you with a list of lawyers close to you, they will usually provide a list of easily accessible reviews to help you with your research. Find the contact information of some of the attorneys and ask them if they offer an initial consultation so you can speak about your goals with the lawyer.
Get referrals from friends and family members
This is one of the most tried and true ways of finding any type of service. Ask around to see if anyone you know has worked with an estate planning attorney to get a will or trust drawn up. If they had a good experience, that is a good sign and you should give the attorney a call to see if they can help you with your situation.
Estate planning is important because you are creating a plan to solidify and pass your legacy on to your loved ones. Will and trust law can be complex and changes from state to state. An improperly drafted plan can have negative legal consequences when trying to pass your assets onto your loved ones.
In certain cases, these consequences can leave your family in court fighting over the assets you wanted them to have in the first place.
An initial consultation lets you get all of your questions answered and lets the attorney customize estate planning information based on your unique needs and goals.