1 in 3 Americans does not have an estate plan for various reasons, including not believing they have sufficient assets. However, estate planning is essential for everyone, so where do you begin?
An estate plan helps protect your beneficiaries, reduces tax burdens, and reduces the risk of family conflict. The best way to begin is to hire an estate planning lawyer. They will ensure your estate plan is transparent and legally compliant.
However, not all estate planning lawyers offer the same services, so here are seven tips to help you find one you can trust.
1. Qualifications and Experience
Make sure the estate planning attorney has the right qualifications and licenses to work in your area.
It is also essential to ask about their experience in estate planning to determine if they can manage your case. A professional lawyer will be happy to share their professional journey with you.
Not all estate planning is the same. You want a lawyer who can explain all your estate plan options, for example, what to do if you have debts exceeding an estate.
Be sure to check they have the expertise and specialist knowledge for your estate plan.
3. Estate Plan Costs
An estate planning lawyer may charge a flat fee or by the hour. Hourly fees can be more complicated to work out, so spend time determining if it fits within your budget.
Be wary of deals that seem too good to be true or lawyers who do not disclose their fees.
4. Communication Skills
Pick an estate planning attorney who communicates well and listens to your needs.
You want to feel comfortable with them and understand the financial planning process. If you do not feel comfortable with the lawyer, it might be worth looking elsewhere.
A lawyer may look great on paper, but do their reviews match? Check independent reviews and ask for references.
You can also ask loved ones if they have anyone they recommend, but do not use a loved one as your lawyer as there could be a conflict of interest.
It can be helpful to use a local estate planning lawyer so you can easily meet with them. It is more convenient for both parties.
Start by searching “estate planning lawyer near me” and check what options come up.
7. Schedule a Consultation
There comes a time when you need to schedule a consultation to determine if an estate planning lawyer is for you.
Usually, there is the option to schedule a free consultation, online or in-person. Be sure to ask for details about their services, such as whether you will be working solely with them or other team members too.
Find the Estate Planning Lawyer for You
It can feel overwhelming to begin estate planning, but with the proper support, you will have an estate plan before you know it. Taking the time to find an estate planning lawyer you can trust will ensure success the first time without additional costs or stress.
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