How to Hire an Estate Planning Lawyer
Estate planning lawyers are your best bet when you need to write your will or create trusts. Choosing an estate planning lawyer should be a well-thought process. It is especially so since you will forge a long term working relationship with the professional. In this extract, you will learn the various considerations to make when hiring an estate planning lawyer.
Licencing and Reputation
The lawyer must be licenced to operate in your state. They should guarantee that they understand the estate planning and taxation laws in your state. For example, various states have varying laws regarding handwritten, oral or taped wills. You should also examine the experience of the lawyer. For instance, people with digital investments such as cryptocurrency will need a lawyer that can transfer the assets without flouting local laws, the terms and conditions of the trading platform.
Interview previous clients and check the lawyer's online reviews to determine the quality of services you will receive. As a rule, you should avoid those with negative feedback or those with numerous complaints at the local bar association.
Your estate lawyer should offer the following services:
- Will writing, evaluation and updating. The lawyer should ensure that your will meets the set legal requirements. Besides, they should write a codicil to amend the terms of the will.
- They should help you set up appropriate trusts. For example, you could opt for a unit trust if you want the beneficiaries to have absolute control over the trust. A charitable trust allows you to donate to charity.
- They should assist with asset management. For instance, they should appraise your property and assist in managing trusts.
- The professional should help you draft a power of attorney.
- They should store your will and assist your executor with the probate process.
Communication and Critical Thinking Skills
Your lawyer should have excellent communication and people skills. Remember that they will closely work with your family members and executor. Besides, you will regularly contact the lawyer when you need to change your will or the terms of your trusts. Your estate lawyer must be a critical thinker. For example, they should help you prevent will disputes. For instance, you could have a no-contest will or include an explanation letter detailing why you left some beneficiaries out of the will.
When hiring an estate planning lawyer, assess the lawyer's licencing, reputation, services, communication and critical thinking skills. Your lawyer should have adequate insurance coverage.