Estate planning is no easy feat especially when you want to ensure that everything you have worked for your entire life is being used in the way you intended it to be.
Not only can Estate Planning be emotionally draining, but it can also take a long time so any wrong choices in terms of legal support will only make these timelines longer.
Therefore, it is important to discuss these 5 things when hiring an Estate Planning attorney:
1. Qualifications And Experience
One of the biggest matters of discussion between you and your potential Estate Planning attorney should be their qualification and experience with different types of cases.
As each Estate Planning case is different, they might need to have a more diverse background than just a straightforward trust or inheritance. As a person can own many different types of property and assets, the diversified experience can be one of the biggest advantages.
Therefore, you should discuss this issue from the get-go without any hesitation. Talk to the attorney about what kind of clients they have worked with before and even check to see if they have any testimonials you can take a look at.
You should do as much research as possible because your research will help you understand the attorney’s strengths and weaknesses. It will also give you a glimpse into their overall reputation.
Honestly, you cannot be too careful about this as your choice can determine your children’s and other inheritors’ futures too.
2. Timelines And Updates
People underestimate how many times they will change their minds when it comes to creating wills or deciding who will get what property. These changes often follow big life decisions or emergencies that can change the way you perceive life.
This may impact how you want your legacy to live on after death too. This is why it is necessary to inquire about timelines and updates when it comes to choosing a reputable law firm to handle your legacy.
Moreover, if you are terminally ill or are making an estate plan in a hurry, you need an attorney who will have a quick turnaround time based on your wishes. Hence, you should discuss timelines with your attorney right away.
Ask them about their firm’s resources and how many billing hours they will have to commit to this. You can even ask them about their current caseload and decide whether you think they have enough time for you.
Processing your estate plan agreement and its regular updates quickly should be a key deciding factor in your search.
3. Finances And Legal Fees
If you are looking for an Estate Planning attorney, then you probably have found a couple of firms in your area that seem promising. Chances are high that they are all pretty much the same in terms of the support they offer and their expertise.
In cases like these, it can become extremely hard to settle on one firm or attorney as your final choice. To combat this, you should request a quote from all the firms or attorneys that you are looking at.
After all, finances and legal fees can add up quickly and can become a major deciding factor depending on the size of your estate. You should also keep in mind that many reputable law firms can come with a huge price tag.
However, you should not equate the price you are paying to the quality of legal support you will receive. There is no shame in going for a cheaper option if you think they are better able to serve your needs.
The idea still stands that you should look for quality before you look at the price tag.
4. Emotional Discretions During Discussions
Professionalism is important and expected from your attorney or law firm. However, there are a lot of emotions involved when planning for your legacy. Things are not as black and white as we may want or even as they may seem.
It is a human response to be troubled while deciding the future of your assets and during this time, you need someone who can understand the issues you are experiencing as far as mental health is concerned.
By no means are we suggesting that your Estate Planning attorney also needs to be your therapist, but they should provide some level of emotional discretion during discussions that make you sentimental.
This can be in the form of offering advice on what is the best legal path out of your issues as well as discussing how similar situations have worked out for other clients.
This level of emotional discretion can help you make the right decisions when it comes to your property plan.
5. Plan Execution And Enforcement
A common mistake that many clients make when choosing an Estate Planning attorney is that they forget to ask about the execution of the estate plan as well as the enforcement of the terms listed in the plan.
Many attorneys and law firms out there are willing to help you create a plan and draft it, however, not all firms will help you with the execution of the plan. It can be a huge problem if you don’t think about this need.
You need to hire someone who can help in carrying out your estate plan after you pass away. Whether this is a trusted third-party witness or a family member, your attorney will help you with the execution of the plan as well in most cases.
If this is a service you require, you should be clear about it from the very beginning as trust administration, probates, and power of attorney proceedings can take a while.
Choosing an Estate Planning attorney who is experienced in all of these services will help you plan better for yourself, your property, and the people you think it belongs to.
All in all, there are many factors and topics that you should discuss when choosing to hire an Estate Planning attorney. These range from their qualifications, their experience, and their fees to their ability to handle emotional discussions as well as the different types of service you require.
We hope that with the information shared here, you will be in a better position to hire a good Estate Planning attorney.