If you need help with estate planning, these are seven things to look for in a lawyer.
Making a plan for your estate is an important part of planning for the future. Wills, powers of attorney, living wills, trusts, Medicaid asset protection, estate tax preparation, and healthcare proxies are all included in these legal papers. If you don’t have one, your loved ones might not take care of your business the way you want them to.
A qualified and experienced estate-planning attorney should be hired to guide you through the process of creating an estate plan that encompasses all of your final wishes. However, not all trust and estate attorneys are created equal and picking the incorrect one might have serious financial consequences.
Need an estate planning attorney in San Diego? We’ve got you covered.
Our dedicated legal staff has years of expertise in estate planning in San Diego, and we personalize each plan to match the specific goals of each client. Our objective is to assist you in developing a strategy that will provide you peace of mind as you approach the end of your life.
Here are seven characteristics that your estate planner should have.
Table of Contents
1. Is Dedicated to the Topic of Estate Preparation
Putting together an estate plan is a complicated endeavor that calls for a wide variety of expertise.
What should be done with these schemes, they know.
- They have a thorough understanding of local estate, probate, Medicaid, and tax laws.
- Probate, trusts, living wills, probate avoidance, asset protection for healthcare assets, estate tax preparation, and healthcare proxies are the main areas of activity for this firm.
However, some attorneys who specialize in other fields (such as divorce or personal injury litigation) try to learn estate planning as well. Many lawyers claim they can develop an estate plan for you by plugging your information into pre-existing software, but they usually don’t know the ins and outs of the process, and the resulting plan is often incomplete and unreliable.
If you want peace of mind, hire an attorney whose whole business is dedicated to estate preparation.
2. Capable in the Required Areas
When it comes to estate planning, there’s a lot to think about: tax returns (both estate and gift), Medicaid preparation, will creation, property law, disability provisions, and more. If you have complex or unusual demands, you should hire an attorney with experience in estate planning to help you through the process.
Your attorney will not be able to present you with the most educated and correct strategy if they do not have training and skills in all important topics.
3. Makes Use of Cutting-Edge Technology
There are some estate planners who haven’t changed their processes or their instruments in decades. These lawyers may be competent in their field, but they might be missing out on cutting-edge strategies that would be to your advantage.
Most of an estate planner’s work is simplified by modern software, so they can devote more time to you, the client, and the things that truly matter, rather than filling out paperwork. Make sure that your trust attorney uses state-of-the-art technology all the way through the estate-planning process, in addition to taking the time to answer your questions and providing great customer service.
4. It’s Rapid and Effective in Its Operations
If you are getting close to the end of your life, you should start working on your estate plan immediately.
The initial draught of your trust plan can be ready in a matter of weeks, and your attorney should be able to complete the entire process in two months at the most. It’s possible that lawyers that need more than a few months to resolve a matter have too many clients and won’t give you the attention you need.
When interviewing potential estate planners, the time needed to complete your plan should be a top priority. For the duration of the writing process, you can hold your attorney to the time range they estimate.
5. Flat-rate pricing
In all candor, your estate planning attorney should outline all of the fees you may expect to pay. The peace of mind that comes from knowing you can achieve your goals for an all-inclusive investment is worth the one-time, set sum that many estate planners charge for all of their services.
If your attorney is upfront about the total cost, it’s likely that they won’t surprise you with any additional charges later. You may further guarantee that you are informed of all fees by requesting a fee agreement be signed.
6. Takes You By The Hand And Shows You Exactly What To Do
The vast majority of clients who use estate planners know very little about the process; if they did, they could easily produce all of the documentation themselves.
If you retain the services of a knowledgeable estate planning attorney, they will lead you through each stage of the process and explain everything in language you can grasp.
An excellent estate planning attorney will go out of his or her way to ensure that you understand and are comfortable with all aspects of your estate plan. Your estate planning attorney should not just throw you a stack of papers and expect you to comprehend what’s in them; instead, they should walk you through the legal terminology in the forms to make sure that your objectives are properly defined.
7. Maintains Frequent Contact
Getting the hard copy of your plan should not be the last time you hear from your estate attorney. The most effective estate planners maintain contact with their customers over time to revisit their objectives and make any necessary adjustments. Moreover, they update clients on any changes to the law that might influence their strategies.
To show that they care about you even after you’re gone, it’s nice to keep in touch with your estate planner for years after you’ve hired them.