Are you thinking about hiring an estate planning lawyer to help you draft a will or prepare a trust?
You may be interested to learn that only 42 percent of adults in the United States has executed a will! That means that almost 60 percent of adults are at risk of passing away without an estate plan in place.
This can put your loved ones at risk of not receiving some or your assets. The good news is that you can avoid this problem by creating a will.
But you need to find the right estate planning attorney to do it.
Read on to learn 5 questions to ask an estate planning lawyer before you choose them!
1. How much experience do you have preparing the documents I need?
A will or trust must be executed properly to be enforceable in the state where you reside.
This means that you need to ensure that the attorney preparing your will or other estate planning document understands what to do and how to do it.
After all, you don’t want to have the money you earned with your franchise falling into the hands of the wrong people!
Experienced trust and estate lawyers will give you peace of mind that your documents are being prepared the right way.
2. Will you be the attorney working on my documents?
Among the most important questions to ask a lawyer is if they will actually be the one working on your documents.
The truth is that lawyers often work in an office of other lawyers and paralegals. This means that the lawyer you speak to may not be the one who is preparing your documents from start to finish.
You should determine who will be working on your documents so that you get a true sense of what you are paying for.
3. How will you bill me for the documents you prepare?
An estate trust attorney can have different ways of billing you for their services.
One estate planning attorney may decide to bill you hourly for their services while another lawyer may charge you a flat rate.
Lawyers that charge an hourly rate for their services often request an initial retainer amount for them begin working on your file. It’s important to remember that your initial retainer amount can be just that – the start of your bill.
Speak to your lawyer about how long they expect to be working on your file. This way you have a realistic expectation of the costs you will incur.
4. Do your fees include a review of my estate plan later?
An estate plan that you create one year may not be as advantageous for your years later.
That’s because there are changes in tax laws and estate planning that can have a big impact on your estate’s bottom line. Speak to your attorney about if their fee includes a review of your estate plan later.
If it does, when will he or she agree to look at it again and what all does this service include?
Knowing the answer to these questions will save you money down the line.
5. What makes your firm stand out from the competition?
Depending on where you live, there may be dozens or hundreds of attorneys in the immediate area that have an estate planning practice.
Before you hire an estate planning attorney, you should ask them what makes their firm different. Is it their focus on client needs? The pride they take in communicating regularly with you?
How a lawyer answers this question will tell you a lot about what they value and if they are the right one for you.
Wrapping Up: Find The Best Estate Planning Lawyer
The decision to hire an estate planning lawyer will have a lasting impact on your life and your loved ones.
That’s because an estate planning attorney will be preparing documents that have legal ramifications on you and your assets.
Taking time to research a prospective lawyer to learn about their practice can make a big difference in your experience.
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