Need Help With Your Estate Plan?
You may know that you need a will or trust to pass on your property, but do you know what other estate planning tools might benefit your family? You might also consider making a financial power of attorney, a health care directive, funeral arrangements, transfer-on-death deed, or a tax-saving trust.
Whether you know what you need, or you need help figuring it out, a good estate planning attorney can help you:
- protect your property
- pass your property to your loved ones
- name guardians for your young children
- name someone to make financial or health care decisions on your behalf
- make your “final arrangements”, and
- avoid probate.
While it is possible to do some of these tasks with good do-it-yourself materials, many people have complicating circumstances (like family discord, high-net wealth, or business complexities) that warrant getting help from an attorney. Only a lawyer can provide an estate plan that takes into account your specific family and financial situation.
Looking for a Lawyer?
At Lawyers.com, you’ll find a user-friendly search tool that allows you to tailor results by area of law and geography. You can also search for attorneys by name. Attorney profiles prominently display contact information, list topics of expertise, and show ratings—by both clients and other legal professionals.
Ready to Meet With a Lawyer?
Before hiring a lawyer or law firm, make sure to speak directly—preferably in person—to the attorney who will be primarily responsible for working on your estate plan. To give the attorney an idea of what you have and what you might need, consider finding and reviewing any estate planning documents you currently have and a make a general list of your assets and intended beneficiaries. Remember that you don’t need to hire the first lawyer you consult and that, first and foremost, you want a lawyer you trust.
What to Ask a Lawyer
When gathering your thoughts and documents, think about what you’ll want to ask the lawyer. Consider including questions about:
- the lawyer’s initial impressions of your situation
- the lawyer’s experience with situations like yours
- attorneys’ fees and other expenses (flat-rate or by the hour)
- additional fees to consider (like recording fees)
- who actually drafts the documents and who then reviews them
- how long it will take until you have your finalized documents
- the attorney-client privilege, if you have concerns about privacy, and
- how often will the attorney want to review your documents after your plan is complete