Contrary to popular opinion, choosing an estate planning attorney isn’t just picking a name out of the phone book.
After all, every estate is different. Some have multiple properties in multiple states and include retirement accounts, pensions and a variety of beneficiaries. Other estates are much less complex, with a single home and one beneficiary to worry about.
Which attorney you choose will depend upon his or her experience and of course, the complexity of your estate. The key to finding the right attorney is asking the right questions.
Are you considering a Living Trust? If so, find out how much your attorney knows about setting up the trust and helping you coordinate the funding.
Do you have properties in multiple states? These will have to be probated separately so ask your attorney to coordinate with someone in the appropriate states. Having this worked out in advance will save your loved ones considerable time and money.
Do you have minor children? You’ll need to designate a guardian and perhaps also a conservator. How much experience does your attorney have addressing this type of concern?
Ask your attorney about his or her policy on estate planning maintenance. Will you need to contact your attorney regularly, or will your attorney let you know when you should consider making changes.
Many attorneys, including estate law practitioners, now charge flat fee rates for their services. This means no hidden charges. When you search for an attorney, ask if they charge this lump sum fee or if they charge by the hour.
Ultimately, only you can decide on the best attorney for you, but knowing the right questions to ask can help you make an informed decision.