If you have agreed to put your affairs in order and fully embrace the fact that most of us will be better off getting estate planning than not, the next thing you might be curious about is how to select an attorney for estate planning. The first thing to note is that your estate planning lawyer is an entity with whom you are going to share a great deal of personal details. Checkout Crow Estate Planning and Probate, PLC for more info. You should feel comfortable talking to him about your needs and concerns, and if you don’t, he isn’t the best lawyer for you. The bottom line is whoever you want. Your lawyer is your legal confidant and is obligated to take your confidence in them beyond their own estate plan, which is shorthand because they have to take your secrets with them to the grave. But if you do not feel comfortable asking them what you need in the first place, it does not matter what their job is. You can start shopping around if you start to feel awkward talking to your would-be estate planning specialist.
The second thing to remember is that in terms of their capacity in estate planning, not all lawyers are created equal. Asking individuals that you already know and trust is a helpful first step in seeking an attorney that would be a good match for you. Ask your church leader, your doctor, and your friends if they have an opportunity to use a property planner and ask what they think of that person. Don’t stop there if you get a suggestion. Look up on Martindale Hubbell (martindale.com) for your would-be attorney candidates to find out where they went to school, how long they have been practising and what fields of law they specialise in. These responses don’t tell you anything you need to know about your prospective confidant, of course, but it’s safer to have some information than to fly blind into the world of lawyers. If the suggested lawyer doesn’t specialise in estate planning, then you do not want the lawyer to develop a financial plan for you and your family.
The National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (NAELA) is another excellent place to locate an attorney or firm in your area that specialises in estate planning. NAELA is a platform used by lawyers to keep up with topics related to elderly law and estate planning, and it is a perfect place to find an attorney who is specialised in estate planning. There is a way to enter your zip code on the NAELA website and find local lawyers who specialise in elderly law and estate planning, including their contact details as well as a map to their entrance. You could cross reference it with a Martindale Hubbell search once you have the list and ask everyone you know if they have heard of any of the attorneys on the list. In addition, there are other good websites on the Internet where before you meet with a property planner, you can collect information about the subject.
The best advice anyone can offer, however, is to find someone to whom you relate well and with whom you feel comfortable sharing personal data. Know, someone whose judgement you need to be able to rely on is your estate planner; they are someone who can present and suggest legal solutions to meet the goals you set for them and they need to be the kind of person who will ask you the right kinds of questions to get the job done and the kind of person you can feel comfortable answering. It’s probably better to look elsewhere for your planning needs if you don’t feel right about them, even if you just don’t seem to relate well to them in some small way. The bottom line is to trust yourself and your lawyer’s intuition and impressions. The opportunity to feel secure with how the estate planning will be handled and carried out is part of the service that you are buying, so make sure you find someone who makes you feel assured that you are working with a professional you can trust.