Organizing your estate can be overwhelming without the help of an expert. With the assistance of an estate planning attorney, you can discuss your vision for your assets before death. Don’t risk creating a plan that doesn’t specify your decisions to the exact details.
When searching for a specialized attorney, it’s important to chat with a few different experts in your area. Make sure you feel comfortable in their office as the discussions of finances and final wishes can be intimate. Once you find several attorneys to interview for the role, here are some questions you should ask before deciding:
1. How Long Have They Been Practicing Estate Planning Law?
Many general attorneys will advertise that estate planning is a part of their practice. They can be a great help when creating legal documents like a will, health care directives and power of attorney. However, if your financial situation is more complicated, an experienced estate planning lawyer will have a better knowledge of the ever-changing laws and know how to protect your legacy. You should also know how long they have been in practice. Someone who has extensive experience in the industry has likely discovered flaws in previous cases and has learned how to correct them. Ensuring your final wishes are in good hands, is a great peace of mind for both you and your loved ones.
2. Do They Regularly Update Plans?
To stay on top of your estate, find an attorney who offers an updating and maintenance program. The service may cost more, but they will contact you throughout the year and discuss new techniques, life-changing events which may impact your plans and alterations to laws. Working with a lawyer who stays in contact with you about your estate plan ensures your documents will be up-to-date when it’s needed.
3. How Do They Charge?
Estate planning is necessary to prepare your family before your death. Ask about the fees the attorney charges. During the interview, find out if he or she charges a fixed rate or hourly. You don’t want to be surprised with unexpected fees.