It goes without saying that estate planning is incredibly important and is more than just having a will or a trust. Estate planning offers a sense of security for you and your loved ones that your wishes will be carried out. With such an important and personal endeavor, selecting the right Wills and Trusts Attorney is crucial.
Doing your homework, familiarizing yourself with the options and asking questions will be critical to getting someone who’s actively looking out for your interests.
There are several key factors you should consider when interviewing potential attorneys and ultimately deciding which one to hire.
Funding a Trust
Will your estate planner help with funding your trust (or otherwise aligning asset ownership with your plan)? How much of the funding process with they do for you?
For some clients, this can be a critical service due to the complexity of assets he or she may own that need to be accounted for. Having someone thorough and reliable in this part of the process will make it easier to ensure the estate planning is completed properly.
Organization and Payment
What does your estate planning process look like? How long will it take until the entire process is complete? When is payment due and how do I pay?
These questions may seem simple, but, not unlike when you pay for home repairs, it’s important to have an idea of the end date of the process. It is also important to know when you are expected to provide information and payment so that you are not the cause of any delays. Additionally, you never want surprises when it comes to payment amounts or dates. It is common to put down a retainer or deposit with an attorney, but it’s always important to know ahead of time.
What long-term plans do you have for your firm? Will you or another attorney in your firm be around to help me in the future?
Creating a will or trust isn’t a one-and-done process. Wills and trusts are frequently revisited over the years because of changes in your circumstances and in the law. If at all possible, it’s best to have the same attorneys working with you. Although you can switch attorneys or firms each time you need an update, attorneys with plans to continue to offer services into the future can be a safer bet to ensuring continuity in your estate planning.
Planning for the Future
Can you help my family members if I become sick or when I die? Just because an attorney prepares estate planning documents, does not mean that they will help with estate or trust administration. Having the attorney who prepared your estate planning documents assist your family during times of incapacity or at your death can be extremely helpful. Since he or she is already aware of your wishes and will have a copy of your documents, addressing these difficult situations can be quicker and involve less hassle.
Have Questions? Let Us Answer Them
There’s no reason to get overwhelmed by the choice of a wills and trusts attorney. Asking just a few simple, but critical, questions can help you find someone who’s on the same page.