Tips for Choosing the Right Estate Planning Attorney for You
Selecting the right estate planning lawyer involves many steps. At least three attorneys must be interviewed. This is a chance to get to know each attorney and ask questions about their fees. Many attorneys offer a free initial consultation. However, double-check this to make sure. It is important to find a lawyer with whom you feel comfortable working.
Getting to know an estate planning attorney in person
You need to have a good reputation when choosing an estate planning attorney. You need to feel confident in their ability to handle your estate plans. This is why you should interview at most three candidates before you decide on one. It is a good idea to bring along the relevant documents and meet with them in person to discuss your needs. When choosing an estate planning attorney, you want to find someone who puts you at ease and is able to answer all your questions.
Although a lawyer’s reputation is important, it is best to ask around. Ask people you know who have used the services and recommendations of estate planning lawyers. Recommendations can sometimes be inaccurate. A friend or family member can refer you to a potential estate planning lawyer. It is also a good idea to look online for reviews about potential attorneys.
Cost of hiring an estate planning attorney
There are several factors to consider when determining the cost of hiring an estate planning attorney. There is no one-size-fits-all approach to estate planning, and the costs associated with different legal documents may vary. A couple with small children will need long-term financial security and care. A couple with multiple trust funds will need more complex planning, such as the distribution of trust funds more efficiently. It’s therefore not enough to choose the lowest-priced attorney. It is better to interview multiple estate planning attorneys and compare the costs.
Some attorneys charge for an initial consultation. Most do not. This consultation is conducted over the phone, in person, or online. It helps you decide what type of estate planning services your family needs. The initial consultation will help determine your budget and needs. However, estate planning is complex and cannot all be done in one 30-minute meeting. Most estate planning lawyers will charge a flat rate. This means that your cost will not change depending on how many you ask.
Specialization of an estate planning lawyer
It might not be obvious that estate planning attorneys are a specialty. Although the American Bar Association (ABA) allows lawyers to hold this designation, you can find out more about them by reviewing the Estate Law Specialty Board, Inc. (ELSB). The ELSB is an attorney-run organization that administers the only national board certification for estate planning attorneys. ELBS members believe that specialization will be the way of the future, and this will benefit their clients.
Kimberly N. Loveland is a certified specialist in estate planning, trust and probate law by the Board of Legal Specialization. Board certification is a sign that an attorney has demonstrated high expertise and experience in a particular area. To earn this distinction, attorneys must have successfully completed extensive peer review, obtain continuing legal education, and focus their work experience in the area of specialization. The Board of Legal Specialization also requires that certified specialists pass a six-hour written exam to maintain their certification.