If you’ve been looking for a trustworthy, reputable lawyer to draft your will, trust or other estate planning and probate document, the search can prove overwhelming. How do you know what to look for? Finding an estate planning attorney doesn’t have to be difficult if you follow a few simple guidelines outlined here.
First off, estate planning involves the management of someone’s total property, from transfer of assets and trust inheritance to living wills and property distribution. A lawyer with a background in estate planning will have expertise in asset protection, compliance laws, mediation, guardian designation, power of attorney, and retirement investments. That’s the first step: targeting a lawyer who specializes in what you need. Whether you require expertise in tax reduction, guardian assignment, family wealth preservation, elder law care or estate settlement, look for someone who has the experience to back up their claims. Look for someone who has been in business for several years in the same community, which often points to a professional who has a good reputation in a particular area.
Ask Yourself Crucial Questions
In the quest for a good estate planning lawyer, it’s necessary to do some research on your own needs in order to know exactly what you need, according to Covelli Law Offices. For example, if you’re trying to determine if you need a last will and testament, your lawyer will ask: do you have children of your own or from another marriage? What about grandchildren? Are you currently married? Do you have large investments? Is there a charity you wish to leave money to?
Certification and Bar Status
Another crucial thing to ask is if the lawyer is certified in the area of probate, trusts and estate planning law, and if he or she is a member of the bar in your state. This lends an extra layer of credibility and legality to the professional you choose.
Free No-Obligation Consultations
Hiring a lawyer is an expensive proposition, and until you settle on one that’s right for you, you don’t want to shell out big bucks on research. Ask the lawyer you’re considering if he or she offers free, no-obligation consultations where you can explain your case and get a bit of free advice before proceeding. This may be done over the phone or in person
The Digital Frontier
Our parents and grandparents never had to worry about passwords and user names, but this is a big concern in today’s digital world. If you were to die suddenly, who would access your Facebook and Twitter accounts to de-activate them, contact all your credit cards, retrieve photos in storage, and even access self-published books? These can all be lost in cyber space if no one knows where to look. A good estate planning attorney will help you determine what you need to preserve and how to access those accounts. Ask if your lawyer has experience in dealing with digital property and its preservation for complete peace of mind.
Trusting an attorney with your estate planning or probate needs is made a bit easier when you know the right questions to ask.