It can be challenging to find the best estate planning attorney. You might even feel tempted to put off dealing with your estate plan entirely. But we’re here to warn you: prevent that from happening! Estate planning is a crucial component of future planning. Likewise, it is essential for the future of your loved ones to choose an estate planning lawyer.
What qualities should you look for in an estate planning lawyer, though? We understand that it can feel intimidating to take on. How can you tell who to believe? Where do you even begin your search for a competent lawyer? Do you need a lawyer at all?
What is an Estate Planning Lawyer?
Attorneys specializing in estate planning are qualified lawyers with in-depth knowledge of state and federal regulations governing every aspect of an estate. They can ensure that everything is covered regarding how your estate will be valued, inventoried, distributed, and taxed after your death. They are also known as probate attorneys or estate law attorneys.
Attorneys specializing in estate planning can offer advice on tax-efficient strategies that pay off both now and in the future and help clients understand the dreaded probate procedure. So finding an estate planning lawyer might be wise if you’re considering how to set up your estate in the most efficient, secure, and protective manner possible.
What does an Estate Planning Lawyer Do?
Attorneys who specialize in estate planning offer more than just writing assistance. They can also be hired to help with Power of Attorney (POA) matters, and they frequently advise how estate plans should be set up to make things as simple as possible for loved ones handling a decedent (someone who has passed away) estate. Are you curious about the tasks an estate planning lawyer might be helpful for? They could assist you with the following:
- Making wills
- Creating Trusts
- Defending property and estates against creditors
- Establishing guardianship
- Advising on tax-efficient strategies
- Aiding in beneficiary selection
- Putting together strategies to simplify (or altogether avoid) probate
- Creating a Lasting Power of Attorney
- Medical Power of Attorney Establishment
How to choose an Estate Planning Lawyer
Now that you know what an estate planning lawyer does in detail, you might be wondering how to choose an ideal lawyer for you, your circumstances, and your estate. You can find the perfect attorney for your needs by following these five easy steps.
Make a list of your unique requirements.
You must comprehend your requirements before looking for an estate planning lawyer. Simply make a list of your precise estate planning objectives first. Finding someone who can assist you will be simpler if you know your end goal. Do you require
- To start from scratch when creating your plan?
- Update or revise an existing plan?
- To complete a certain step in your plan, like choosing beneficiaries or establishing guardianship?
- Help or suggestions on reducing or eliminating upcoming tax obligations for your estate and beneficiaries are welcome.
- To establish and supply a Trust?
- Anything else?
Consult your family and friends
Recommendations can be invaluable when looking for an estate planning attorney. You can feel secure by working with a reputable lawyer. Knowing that a family member or close friend who shares your values and life goals has already used someone who understands what’s important to you may make you feel better.
Make a shortlist of lawyers who will be a good fit using your network. Any responsible, proactive person in your life, including family members, coworkers, friends, and neighbors, can be a reliable source of referral information.
Given the prevalence of the internet, you might be tempted to conduct a cursory search and hire the first lawyer you come across, regardless of where they are located. And while this is a good strategy for some services, it is crucial to find an attorney who is licensed in your state and knowledgeable about the state law where you live when it comes to estate law.
Interview your prospects thoroughly
It’s rare to make a hiring decision based solely on a person’s first name without researching and getting to know them well. Interviewing everyone on your list is the best way to ensure you choose the right lawyer. The interview process doesn’t have to be drawn out or complicated.
Instead, use online estate planning services.
It’s also important to remember that you don’t have to use an estate planning attorney if you don’t want to. Today, you can use a legitimate, reputable online estate planning service, enabling you to create an extensive plan that meets all of your estate planning requirements. You can make a great estate plan online, and you can do it confidently, knowing that you have a strategy to safeguard your legacy and yourself.
It may not seem easy to plan an estate. But it’s not necessary to be. You can have a plan in place that you feel confident in if you have the correct information, such as knowing how to locate an estate planning attorney you can rely on.