You finally decide to hire an estate planning attorney. But how do you know who to work with? A quick online search would yield a long list of firms within your area. Likewise, you can get referrals from family and friends.
Yet the important decision still falls on you. Hence, you want to make sure you can hire someone you can work with. At the same time, someone who’s knowledgeable. In doing so, you’ll feel more confident. You’ll go through the estate planning process with someone you can rely on.
Ask About their Practice in General
It’s good to know the background of the lawyer and the firm he or she works with. This gives you an idea of their experience and capacity when it comes to estate planning. The last thing you want is to work with a rookie who might end up using your case as a training ground. Working with an experienced lawyer can help reassure. Indeed, you’ll feel more confident about the documentation.
Ask About the Extent of their Services
Be aware there are firms who would consider estate planning as a single transaction. Hence, it would be a whole new contract to negotiate with the lawyer if you need more help. If you can manage to get a lawyer who can work with you in funding your revocable living trust, then it’s better for you. Chances are you might not get around to doing it on your own. Though it might cost you extra, the help is invaluable in the long run.
Likewise, ask if they have a program for following up on clients and their estate plans. This is also helpful as changes in state laws and taxes can happen without you knowing about it. Hence, having a lawyer who will remind you to check your documents on an annual basis can keep you updated.
Ask About Their Fees
Don’t be shy to ask about their fees. The last thing you want is to be caught off guard with a huge legal bill. Hence, ask if they have a fixed fee. Moreover, what services the fee covers. It’s also possible for a lawyer to charge an hourly rate. This would cover extra services outside the fixed fee.
Keep these tips in mind when interviewing a potential estate planning attorney walnut creek. You need to consider your own instincts too. So, you should ask yourself if the lawyer you’re talking to is someone you can work with. Remember, your comfort is important.