Estate planning is somewhat of a taboo topic to discuss with anyone. After all, its main purpose is to distribute your belongings to the right people after you pass away.
No one wants to think about that, but it’s vitally important to make sure your belongings are in the right hands once you’re gone.
In order to do that sufficiently, you need to hire the best estate planning lawyer that you can find. That can be tough to find an estate planning law firm without prior exposure to one.
Here are a few things to consider when you’re looking around at estate planning firms and how they fit with your plans.
1. Is It Their Specialty?
There are a lot of lawn firms out there that offer estate planning for their clientele.
However, a firm shouldn’t be hired just because they offer that service. If there’s a law firm in your town with a major reputation, you still need to see what their experience is with estate planning.
The entire process is complicated, so you want someone on your side with experience and know-how at dispersing things.
They can offer you advice and help you sort things out as you go through your list, as well as make sure you’ve got everything covered.
2. Where Did They Attend School?
You’re not expected to know all of the colleges that excel in estate planning. While their answer to this question may not give you direct insight into their knowledge, it will help give you a sense of that.
They’ll speak to the program that the underwent and how that started them down this field of expertise.
Even if some lawyers in the firm you’re visiting are relatively young, they probably have a good amount of experience already. Depending on the program they went through, they could have almost as much as the older lawyers in their firm.
3. How Long Have They Been In This Field?
The more experienced, the better. You’ll want as much experience as you can get heading into what can be one of the most difficult decisions of your life: dividing your belongings.
You want to hire somewhat that hasn’t only prepared documents for clientele, they’ve seen it through to after that client passed away.
Ask them about these experiences. What were some setbacks that they experienced? Are there any recommendations they’d give you based on previous experience?
It’s all helpful and will serve you well as you prepare your document.
4. What’s the Best Way to Contact Them?
Depending on how much estate you have to sort out, this process may be relatively short or lengthy.
Because of that, you want to hire a lawyer that you can contact whenever you have questions or concerns. Remember, just because finalize the document doesn’t mean it’s the last time you’ll speak with them.
You may have changes you want to make down the line, so you’ll need their contact info in case that happens.
Make sure they give you several ways to reach out to them. Email is a start, but make sure they have a cell number and office line for you to reach as well.
5. Are They the Ones That See It Through?
There are law firms out there that only write up the documents for estate planning.
Whether that plays a big part in the firm you hire or not is entirely up to you. But some clients prefer their lawyers to be the ones to carry it out as well.
They can vouch for your document because they were in the room when you drafted it.
They saw your tone, your definitiveness, the level of care that went into that document… all things that play a factor while reading the documents to your loved ones.
6. What All is Included In Your Rates?
Don’t hire a law firm for estate planning until you have a firm idea of what’s included in their services.
As mentioned above, some firms only write up the document and nothing more.
Not that there’s anything wrong with that, just make sure you don’t plan for them to see it through if they don’t offer that service.
Asking this question will provide you with an assurance that they’ve met every expected portion of the process that they previously mentioned.
Estate planning may be one of the smartest decisions you ever make. Read more about how it sets your family’s future up for success.
7. How Long Will It Take?
The estate planning process can be a somewhat long one at times. Especially when there’s several facets to sort through.
There’s no harm in asking any potential estate planning lawyer what they expect the timeframe to be.
Their answer will vary on a case-by-case basis, so all you can do is ask for their estimated timeframe. Take it with a grain of salt, but at least it give s you an expected window.
The service they are providing is of the utmost importance. So you want to make sure they’ve assigned plenty of time to be diligent in planning your document.
Hire the Estate Planning Law Firm for Your Needs
Now that you’ve seen the importance an estate planning law firm has in your family’s future, it’s time to find the right fit.
Let these questions be your guide as you aim to find the perfect lawyer for your situation.
Be sure to check out many of our other articles that relate to this topic and topics just like it.