Hiring an Estate Planning Attorney
When you’re ready to start the process of estate planning, it’s advisable to seek the counsel of a qualified attorney. It’s important to bear in mind that most attorneys specialize in particular aspects of the law. For many attorneys, estate planning is something that is outside of their primary scope of practice. When you are concerned with taking care of the structure of your estate, it’s certainly in your best interest to select a lawyer who has experience and expertise specific to estate planning.
Finding an Attorney
It’s likely that there are a number of attorneys in your area who specialize in estate planning. You might want to ask your friends and family members who have recently taken care of their own estates for referrals. Your financial planner and/or life insurance agent can also be good sources for helping locate a qualified estate planning attorney. Make sure that you are comfortable communicating with the attorney you select, as you’ll have to share specific details about your family and financial situation throughout the estate planning process.
What to Expect
If you decide to work with an attorney, you can expect to receive sound advice regarding the legalities of establishing and finalizing your estate plan. Attorneys who specialize in estate planning typically have experience in setting up living and life insurance trusts, drafting wills, and handling probate proceedings. If your estate is sizeable, it’s vital to verify that your lawyer has expertise in the area of estate taxation.
Verify that any attorney you choose is properly licensed to practice law in your state of residence. The best way to check out an attorney’s credentials is to contact your state’s Bar Association, either via telephone or online. Taking the time to check out credentials ahead of time can keep you from finding yourself in an awkward situation if a problem should arise.