While we have written about it before, choosing the right estate planning attorney for your needs is an extremely important step as you explore a comprehensive estate planning strategy. You will need to work closely with your estate planning attorney to develop an effective approach to estate planning, and with so much on the line it is important for you to make the right choice. The following tips may be helpful in helping you select an estate planning attorney that is right for you.
Choose an Estate Planning Attorney
Most attorneys receive the same basic legal education. However, many of them go on to focus on specific areas so that they can develop deeper understanding of the various nuances involved in their practice area. The same is true of estate planning. Estate planning attorneys that focus their practice on working with clients throughout the estate planning process can take a thorough and dynamic approach to meeting your estate planning needs.
Friends, family members, business partners, and other advisors in your life could have a number of different opinions when it comes to selecting the right estate planning attorney. Listen to their reasoning and try to get a better understanding of how their experience compares to yours in order to determine exactly what needs you will need met.
It is also important to remember that while referrals can contain a wealth of helpful information, estate planning is an individual process and one attorney’s approach might not be the right one for you. You still need to sit down and talk with your attorney to get an idea of how they can address your unique needs.
Investigate the Fee Structure
It is not always possible to determine the exact cost of any legal process. There are potential court fees, filing fees, investigative fees, and other costs that could be a part of any legal process – including estate planning. All of the various uncertainties involved can make it difficult to provide a wholly accurate estimate of cost. However, knowing what fees you are responsible for and what comes with those fees is an extremely important part of selecting the right estate planning attorney. For instance, some estate planning attorneys will charge to review your estate plan periodically while other experienced estate planning attorneys include such services in the basic cost.
Do Not Limit Your Search Unnecessarily
There may only be a limited number of attorneys in your area that work with clients on estate planning. If none of those attorneys are right for you, do not be afraid to look further. While you want to make sure you use an attorney licensed in your state to ensure that your estate planning mechanisms are valid and comply with state law, you may find it worth your time to travel a little further in selecting your attorney depending upon your needs. You will not always need to meet in person with your attorney when it comes to estate planning, and selecting an attorney that offers a suite of different options – like periodic review of your estate plan included in its creation – may make the extra time and distance more than worthwhile.